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What is the Difference between Psychologist and Psychiatrist

What is the Difference between Psychologist and Psychiatrist

Psychologist vs. Psychiatrist

Difference between Psychologist and Psychiatrist: –

Although in some cases people use the terms “psychologist” and “psychiatrist” to describe qualified individuals who provide therapy services to individuals with mental and behavioral problems,

the truth is that these terms designate two different types of professionals.

In general, both psychologists and psychiatrists perform psychotherapy and research,

but here this post is all about the difference between Psychologists and Psychiatrists.

Difference between Psychologist and Psychiatrist

A psychiatrist is a doctor and a psychologist is not.

Therefore academic training is the most obvious difference among these professionals.


A psychologist can receive postgraduate training in psychology and obtain credentials, either a doctorate in psychology.

Psychology professionals have experience in clinical psychology or counseling.

Their doctoral programs usually last from 5 to 7 years and in some cases with an additional 1 or 2 years of practice, in order to obtain the license to practice their profession.

The title of “psychologist” is mostly used by qualified people, who have completed education, training, and obtained state licenses.

Sometimes there are other informal titles such as “counselor” or “therapist” that can also refer to psychologists.

However, other mental health professionals, such as certified social workers; can also call themselves therapists or counselors.


On the other hand, psychiatrists are physicians who are trained in the evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of psychological or mental problems.

Attend medical school and achieve a doctorate complete medical training.

In addition, they must dedicate 4 years of residence to mental health centers.

Psychiatry is also divided into many areas, including

  • geriatric psychiatry,
  • child and adolescent psychiatry;
  • addictions and areas of mental health.

As for prescription medications for patients who have serious mental health problems,

the psychiatrist can prescribe medications, while the psychologist does not.

For Further Reading

Key Differences between Psychologist and Psychiatrist

  • The psychiatrist is a doctor, whereas a psychologist is not.
  • The academic preparation of a psychiatrist is greater than that of a psychologist.
  • The psychiatrist have authorization to prescribe drugs to patients who need them,
    • whereas the psychologist cannot do such a thing.

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