Psychologist Versus Psychiatrist: Know The Major Differences

Psychologist Versus Psychiatrist: Know The Major Differences

The title of a psychologist and psychiatrist may sound similar, along with that both are trained to diagnose and treat those people who are suffering from any mental conditions. But in actuality, they both are different. We often get confused with these two types of professionals.

Here we will discuss the major differences between a psychologist and a psychiatrist. The differences include education, training, and also the role in treating people. So the next time when you are willing to consult with the one, you will be sure of whom you need to visit.

Differences In Education

Here are the educational differences that are present between a qualified psychiatrist and psychologist. So, in order to know a major difference, you need to read more.


Along with a medical degree, a psychiatrist also has an advanced qualification. They also have a specialty in psychiatry. In order to treat people with mental conditions. Psychiatrists usually take talk therapy, medications, and also some other form of treatment.


Psychologists owned an advanced degree, like Ph.D. or PsyD. And here, in order to treat mental health conditions, these professionals use talk therapy. For an entire treatment program, they also can play the part of a consultant along with any other healthcare providers or some kind of study therapy.

Differences in Practice

The tools and the way of treating people they use are different up to a certain level.

There are several settings where a psychiatrist can work. Here they are,


● Hospitals.

● Nursing home.

●  Private practice.

●  Prisons.

●  University medical centers.

●  Psychiatric hospitals.

●  Hospice programs.

●   Rehabilitation programs.

Now come to the type of mental issues they treat. People with the following mental conditions can expect a psychiatrist to treat them.

●  Anxiety disorder.

●  Major depression.

●   Bipolar disorder.

●   ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

●   Schizophrenia.

●    PTSD or Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.

There are also some special ways to diagnose the mental health condition of any patient. They generally conduct one-on-one discussions with the patient or other psychological tests to diagnose the mental condition.

Sometimes if needed, psychiatrists also prescribe some lab tests in order to find out if there are any physical issues that are present that are causing the mental condition.

Once the psychiatrist diagnoses the mental health condition and gets to know the issue for further treatment, he or she will prescribe some medications or refer to a psychotherapist.

Here are some of the medications that a psychiatrist generally prescribes.

●  Antidepressants.

●   Sedatives.

●   Stimulants.

●   Mood stabilizers.

●   Antipsychotic medications.

The job of a psychiatrist does not end here with just prescribing medications. After that, he or she will closely monitor the condition of the person. And on the basis of it, the psychiatrist will change the dosage or go on with further treatment procedures.


Just like psychiatrists, psychologists also work with those people who have some mental health conditions. With the help of interviews, observations, surveys, they generally diagnose the issue.

One of the many major differences between a psychiatrist and a psychologist is that a psychologist can not prescribe medicines generally. But, in five specific states, a psychologist can prescribe medications, but additional qualifications are required.

Those five states are,

●   New Mexico.

●  Louisiana.

●  Illinois.

●  Iowa.

●  Idaho.

Along with these states, if any psychiatrist is working with the military, Guam, or Indian Health Service, he or she can prescribe medications.

Just like the same as a psychiatrist, a psychologist also can work in the same settings where a psychiatrist can work.

Talk therapy is the common way of treating people here. They sit with people to talk through any issues. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is one of the many types of talk therapy that psychologists most commonly use.

Here are the different forms of talk therapy.

●  With the therapist one-on-one.

●  Group therapy.

●  Family therapy.


So, as now you know the differences between a psychiatrist and a psychologist, you will be clearer whenever you get any mental condition. The major difference between them is a psychiatrist can prescribe medications to their patients, but a psychologist can not do that except in some special cases.

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