Psychologist vs. Psychiatrist: What’s the Difference?
“Which one should I see, a psychiatrist or a psychologist?” While some people may use those terms interchangeably, these professionals provide vastly different mental health services. In this guide, we will compare psychologists and psychiatrists to give you a better understanding of each provider.
What Is a Psychologist?
A psychologist is a person who holds a master’s degree or doctorate in psychology. These professionals typically work as counselors or therapists, helping people improve their lives with proven therapy strategies. Psychologists understand the how the human min works and how personal experiences can alter a person’s perspective. They may specialize in anxiety treatment, depression treatment, relationship therapy, self-esteem building, conflict resolution, and many other areas, depending on their passion.
Psychologists cannot prescribe medicine in most states. That is a task for psychiatrists, as we will discuss in the next section. Psychologists can perform psychological testing though, which is used to identify signs of autism, ADHD, PTSD, OCD, bipolar disorder, learning disabilities, and more.
What Is a Psychiatrist?
Psychiatrists attend medical school, just like a primary care doctor. They have a doctor of medicine (M.D.), and they are able to write prescriptions in most states. They must have a deep understanding of the human body and mind in order to prescribe the right medications for their patients.
Psychiatrists use their knowledge to correct chemical imbalances in the brain. For instance, a person with bipolar disorder may require mood stabilizers to control manic and depressive episodes. Some forms of medication management are short-term, and others may be lifelong experiences.
Should I See a Psychologist or Psychiatrist?
Psychologists and psychiatrists often work hand-in-hand. A psychiatrist will prescribe medication that helps a person who is already in therapy. The psychologist helps the patient understand the root cause of his or her struggles and finds a personalized solution for those obstacles.
Medication is not right for everyone. In fact, most mental health issues can be resolved through therapy alone. If someone does need medication, therapy can improve the effects of it. Nearly everyone can benefit from seeing a psychologist, but seeing a psychiatrist is not necessary for everyone.
Here at Midwest Psychological Services, we provide psychological and psychiatric services in Hudson, WI. We have several psychologists and psychiatrists on staff, and we will match you with the best professional for your needs. Our psychiatrists and therapists work together to provide top-level care for a range of mental health concerns. You can get the help you deserve from a team you can trust, right here in Hudson, WI.
Give us a call at (715) 381-1980 to schedule an appointment with a psychologist or psychiatrist near you.