What is the Difference Between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist

It’s a question we get asked a lot. What is the Difference Between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?

What is Psychology?

Psychology is a science which looks to investigate the mind and how the mind affects thoughts and behaviours. This can be investigated by looking at how an individual acts, interacts with others, and how they think and feel.

What is Psychiatry?

Psychiatry is a medical science which looks at diagnosing, treating and preventing various illnesses and conditions. Psychiatry is usually provided by a doctor who has decided to specialise in mental health.

Psychologist and Psychiatrist

When looking at psychology and psychiatry there are various similarities and differences to bear in my mind. One of the biggest differences between the two is that an individual who practises psychiatry can prescribe medication whereas a psychologist cannot provide medication but rather provides therapy by looking into an individual’s past and teaching the client coping strategies.

Another difference between psychology and psychiatry is the training that the professionals will undergo. A psychiatrist will do a medicine degree and then specialise in their area of interest. Our London psychologists will do a bachelor degree, usually in psychology, and then go onto do a clinical doctorate (although other routes are available).

Despite psychology and psychiatry being different branches of science, the two often interlink. Clients are often given a mixture of both psychiatric and psychological treatment such as cognitive behaviour therapy being given at the same time as the client being on receiving anti-depressant medication.