Posted by: Doffie | 2008/08/01

Psychology vs Psychiatry

I may be a bit dof but what is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist. I am going through some problems and will be consulting a psychologist. Is there a difference.

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Our expert says:
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I hope we can soon mount an FAQ section, and this is one of the mosty frequently asked questions I run into.
Jonathan is broadly right ( though the SA specialist qualification is an MMed Psych, those of us who qualified overseas may have other letters such as MRCPsych or FRCPsych ( member or fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatry in the UK ) or others.
Both deal with mental illness, psychologists are more able to use psych testing and psychotherapy, and can't prescribe drugs ; psychiatrists may do counselling too, some can't and some choose not to

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Our users say:
Posted by: Curious | 2008/08/01

I always thought that psychiatrists treated mental illness and psychologists " normal"  people with problems? Although I often wonder what sanity really is.

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Posted by: Maria | 2008/08/01

Psychologists do counselling. They cannot prescribe medication. They often work in conjunction with psychiatrists. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specialised, like a dermatologist, ENT or paedatrician specialised. A psychiatrist works in the field of psychiatric medicine. Some psychiatrists also do counselling, but not all.

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Posted by: visitor | 2008/08/01

so does that mean psychologists are for counselling and psychiatriasts for mental illness??

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Posted by: Jonathan | 2008/08/01

Hi there!

Simply put, Psychiatrists are medical doctors with the following degree: MBChB, MMed (Psych).

Psychologists are not (usually with a B. Psych. degree + post graduate degree).

By the way, the suffix " -iatry"  means " medical treatment,"  and " -logy"  means " science"  or " theory." 

Thus Psychiatry is the medical treatment of the psyche, and psychology is the science of the psyche!



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