The fields of psychology and psychiatry are quite different in many ways. The careers of both psychiatrists and psychologists also differ significantly in terms of formal education. Psychologists usually go to medical school and are then trained in basic psychology. After completing an MD, they typically practice two years of residency in psychiatry before they become qualified to take the licensing exam. At that point, they can apply for a licensed practicum in any field of clinical practice.
In contrast, psychologists choose either a two-year program in psychology or a four-year program in psychiatric practice. After completion, they complete either a master's degree or a Ph.D. In either case, they pursue areas of specialization in either human behavior and social psychology, or psychology and psychiatric disorders. During their study, they read literature on such topics as clinical psychology, human knowledge, philosophy of science, child psychology, developmental psychology, marriage and family therapy, or psychology and counseling. They may also participate in trainee programs in other disciplines, such as nursing or teaching.
Most practitioners of this line of work eventually move on to become clinical psychologists. Their areas of specialization are typically clinical psychology, human behavior, or social and experimental psychology. Clinicians who specialize in one of these areas develop methods and models of treatment that will help patients who suffer from various mental health disorders. In addition to helping patients, they also use psychological assessments and diagnostic tools to help them determine the cause of the disorder. When it comes to choosing a clinical psychologist, it is important to find someone with extensive training and experience in the particular area of psychiatric treatment you wish to treat.
Those interested in working in the field of clinical psychology tend to go on to become psychotherapists. As a psychotherapist, these individuals help patients with a variety of mental health problems, including but not limited to: depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, Post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, and eating disorders. Some therapists specialize in specific disorders such as eating disorders, bipolar disorder, and gambling disorder. Other areas of psychiatric practice are becoming highly specialized, making it necessary for therapists to obtain a Master's degree in order to open their own private practices. In recent years, some psychotherapy specialists have opted to become counselors or school psychologists. Counselors work with children to improve emotional and behavioral problems.
Psychologists and psychiatrists work side by side in most cases. However, in some instances, a psychiatrist may refer a client to a psychologist in an effort to improve the quality of life for the client. While a psychologist can often work on his/her own, a licensed psychotherapist is required to have his/her own private clinic. Private clinics offer the added benefit of privacy and the personal attention that therapy provides. . . . . . . Therapy sessions usually last between fifteen to forty-five minutes, although this varies depending on the needs of the patient.
The mental health field offers many options for those suffering from psychological disorders. These disorders include ADD/ADHD, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, Post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, and eating disorders. Many times these disorders are due to a chemical imbalance in the brain that requires treatment by a qualified professional. A psychologist or psychiatrist works with individuals, couples, families, and schools to provide the best possible mental health care for everyone.