A Psychiatrist is a physician who specializes in psychiatry and is certified in treating mental illness.
As part of their evaluation of the patient, psychiatrists are one of only a few mental health professionals who may prescribe psychiatric medication, conduct physical examinations, order and interpret laboratory tests and electroencephalograms, and may order brain imaging studies such as computed tomography or computed axial tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and positron emission tomography scanning.
Psychiatrists are doctors of medicine or osteopathy and are certified in treating mental illness using the biomedical approach to mental disorders.
Psychiatrists may also go through significant training to conduct psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, and/or cognitive behavioral therapy, but it is their medical training that differentiates them from other mental health professionals.
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Re:What Is An: Consultant Psychiatrist/Psychiatrist?:
9 years 7 months ago #1670
There are quite significant differences between psychology, psychiatry and psychotherapy roles and they tend to deal with different types of problems, although there is considerable overlap in their work, below is a brief description of each of the careers and you can explore psychology and psychotherapy individually by clicking on the links in \"Related information...\"
Psychiatry is the study of mental disorders and their diagnosis, management and prevention. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have qualified in psychiatry. They often combine a broad general caseload alongside an area of special expertise and research.
Psychologists are not the only professionals involved in the care of people with mental health problems.
They often work closely with those in other fields, particularly in the NHS.
Here we have tried to explain some of the most common professions/fields.
Psychiatry tends to see mental distress as being a symptom of a ‘disorder’.
For example, lack of sleep or feelings of anxiety are symptoms of serious depression, which can be caused by wrong amounts of chemical substances in the brain.
Boosting the levels of these can relieve the symptoms of depression.
Psychiatrists will have a medical degree; they will also have completed two years of foundation training and a further six years of specialty training within psychiatry.
Because of their medical training, psychiatrists can prescribe drugs to alleviate distress (something other psychology-related professionals cannot do).
The Royal College of Psychiatrists:
is the professional and educational body for psychiatrists in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.
Counselling is a way to explore the thoughts and feelings that may be causing difficulties in your life.
There are a number of recognised but distinct methods of counselling, typically humanistic, psychodynamic, cognitive or behavioural.
So counselling has developed from a theoretical base but not necessarily one that incorporates psychology.
Practitioners will want to be sure that what they offer is appropriate for you so they will be happy to explain their approach.
There are no legal minimum qualifications necessary to practise as a counsellor in the UK but many counsellors are members of a relevant professional association, such as The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy:
who have a list of accredited counsellors:
Counselling psychologists will have undergone psychological training.
Psychotherapy is the practice of alleviating psychological distress through talking rather than drugs; indeed, it is often referred to as talking therapy.
Some people use the terms 'counselling' and 'psychotherapy' interchangeably and there is much overlap between the two.
There are many different types of psychotherapy, and many ways of being trained, but the British Psychological Society believes that psychotherapy is best regarded as a post-qualification for someone who may be already working as a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health professional.
The United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy:
and The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy:
also publish registers listing approved psychotherapists.
The term coaching has become a popular name to encompass techniques that help clients make improvement in their life and achieve personal goals.
Coaching is not targeted at psychological illness but psychologists can be coaches and British Psychological Society has a group dedicated to the psychology of coaching, the Special Group in Coaching Psychology:
Again, there are no legal minimum qualifications to become a coach, although there are a number of self-appointed accreditation bodies.
Other types of therapy:
Art Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses the creation of art or craft to express and communicate issues that can then be explored via therapy.
See the British Association of Art Therapists for further information:
Dramatherapy has as its main focus the intentional use of healing aspects of drama and theatre as the therapeutic process.
See the British Association of Dramatherapists for further information:
Psychoanalysis is based on the work of Sigmund Freud and explores unconscious conflicts of feeling, emotion and fantasy that could be at the root of symptoms and problems.
You may also hear of psychoanalytic psychotherapy, which draws on theories and practices of analytical psychology and psychoanalysis.
See the British Psychoanalytical Council for further information:
*All 3 work with people who have emotional or mental difficulties.
*All 3 work both in the private sector and in the NHS.
*All 3 have had extensive training, and should be members of the relevant professional body.
*A Psychologist is a general term for someone who has studied psychology, usually to degree level or beyond. Psychologists have observed and measured human behaviour scientifically and have produced models and therapies based on this knowledge. There are a number of different branches of psychology including Occupational Psychology, Forensic (Criminal) Psychology, and Educational Psychology, amongst others. A Clinical Psychologist or a Counselling Psychologist will have done further training (often to a doctorate level) to be able to administer psychological tests (personality tests, intelligence tests, etc.) and to be able to treat people with emotional or behavioural difficulties. For further information, go to the British Psychological Society web site:
*A Psychiatrist works within a medical framework and so will have trained as a medical doctor first and then specialised in psychiatry. Psychiatrists diagnose and treat mental illnesses and disorders. Only psychiatrists and medical doctors can prescribe medications. For further information, go to the Royal College of Psychiatrists web site:
*A UKCP Psychotherapist has had a four-year, post-graduate, in-depth and experiential training in how to work with a variety of people with a wide range of emotional and mental difficulties.
Psychotherapists are trained in one or more of the different modalities.
For further information, please explore this UKCP web site.