How psychiatrists and psychologists work together?

What is the difference between psychiatrists and psychologists?


– Trained medical doctors who later specialise in the field
– Can prescribe and review medication
– Often consult and oversee a mental health team
– Usually work with people with severe mental health disorders
– Primarily use the biological/medical model of mental illness


– Train as non-medical doctors by completing extensive clinical experience and completing an academic doctorate
– Cannot prescribe medication
– Integrate different models for treatment:
– Biopsychosocial (biological, psychological and social)
– Train across different types of therapy before specialising

How are they similar?


– Use diagnostic systems to cluster symptoms and create an effective treatment plan
– Can perform assessments for mental health conditions
– Treat mental illnesses of people of any background or age
– Understand the link between the brain and emotions and physical sensations

Working together:

– Create a well-rounded view of clients
– Multidisciplinary teams
– Psychiatrist might initially assess then allocate to psychologist for treatment
– Manage risks

Provide holistic care:

– Medical
– Psychological
– Social
– Emotional

Treat a wide range of people with complex conditions:

– Schizophrenia
– Bipolar Affective Disorder
– Personality Disorders
– Depression
– Anxiety
– Phobias
– Anyone suffering with suicidal ideations
– Behavioural Problems

Which one should I see?

– Depends on the situation
– Depends on type of treatment
– May see both
– May have initial consultation with psychiatrist
– Psychologist may initiate and continue treatment plan
– Whoever you are comfortable with
– Ensure the process is fully explained to you before starting with a new clinician