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Difference Between Psychologist and a Psychiatrist

Psychologist and Psychiatrist

Although both psychologists and psychiatrists perform much the same function ie diagnosing and treating patients with mental, emotional and behavioural disorders using a variety of psychotherapeutic methods, the one major difference is that psychiatrists are qualified doctors and can prescribe medication as part of the treatment. The medication is usually of the kind that affects the patient’s mood or behaviour like anti-depressants or tranquillizers. They should have completed their MBBS with specialisation in psychiatry during their MD. Psychologists, on the other hand, treat their patients through counselling, have no medical training and cannot prescribe any medication. They generally take their specialisation after graduation. It is essential that practicing psychologists have a Masters, MPhil or a PhD degree. Some specialisations, like clinical psychology for instance, require a two-year MPhil in the subject as a necessary qualification. However, both clinical psychologists and psychiatrists, when properly trained are equally competent as far as psychotherapy is concerned.