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Difference between psychiatrist and a psychologist

Psychiatrists are trained medical doctors who go on to specialise in treating mental conditions. Psychiatrists are trained in a holistic way (biopsychosocial approach). They can assess and treatment wide range of mental conditions using a comprehensive approach. They are trained in prescribing medications, therapy, assessing physical health related impacting on mental health, ordering and interpreting investigations and tests, counselling and brain stimulation therapies (such as, electroconvulsive therapy or transcranial magnetic stimulation). Psychiatrists can further specialist in psychotherapy, children’s mental health, women’s mental health, care of ageing population, addiction problems, brain stimulation etc.

Psychologists are professionals that have undertaken specialised training in the assessment and psychological treatment of mental, behavioural, and emotional disorders. They aren’t trained medical doctors but may hold a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) and be called “doctor”.

Should I see a psychiatrist or a psychologist?

If you are unsure whether you should see a psychiatrist or psychologist, talk to your general practitioner. They can give you advice about whether a psychiatrist or psychologist is right for you. This usually depends on your particular symptoms and the type of treatment you need. It may also depend on what treatment has already been tried.