October 14, 2021

Psychiatrists vs Psychologists- Who is the better Healer?

Before we know the answer to this, let us get to know more about psychiatrists & psychologists.

1) Psychiatrists-

Psychiatrists are doctors who specialize in psychiatry. Psychiatry is the branch of medicine dedicated to the diagnosis, prevention, investigation, and treatment of mental disorders. Psychiatrists are doctors who evaluate patients to determine whether their symptoms are the result of a physical illness, a combination of physical and mental illness, or a strict mental problem. Sometimes psychiatrists work in a multidisciplinary team, which may include clinical psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, and nurses. Psychiatrists have received extensive training in biopsychosocial methods for assessing and managing mental illness.

2) Psychologists-

Psychologists are people who study normal and abnormal mental states, perceptions, cognition, emotions and social behaviours and processes, experience, observe, explain and record the relationship between individuals and others and their environment. Psychologists usually earn a four-year university degree and usually require postgraduate work. Unlike psychiatrists, psychologists usually cannot prescribe drugs. Psychologists can work with various institutions and people, such as schools, prisons, private clinics, workplaces, or sports teams.

Now, let’s look at the working modes/methods of psychiatrists & psychologists,

3) Psychiatrists-

Psychiatrists use various treatment methods according to the needs of each patient, including various forms of psychotherapy, medication, psychosocial intervention, and other treatments (such as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT).

Psychotherapy, sometimes called talk therapy, is a treatment that involves a conversational relationship between the therapist and the patient. It can be used to treat various mental disorders and emotional difficulties. The goal of psychotherapy is to eliminate or control the disabling or disturbing symptoms so that the patient can perform better. Depending on the severity of the problem, treatment may require only a few courses in a week or two, or many courses in a few years. Psychotherapy can be done individually, as a couple, with family or in a group.

There are many forms of psychotherapy. There is psychotherapy that helps patients change their behaviour or thought patterns, psychotherapy that helps patients explore the influence of past relationships and experiences on current behaviour, and psychotherapy that is adapted to help solve other problems in a way. specific. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a goal-oriented therapy that focuses on problem solving. Psychoanalysis is an intensive form of personal psychotherapy that requires frequent treatment over several years.

Psychiatrists use most drugs in the same way as those used to treat high blood pressure or diabetes. After completing the comprehensive assessment, psychiatrists can prescribe medications to help treat mental disorders. Although the exact mechanism of action of psychiatric drugs is not fully understood, they can beneficially regulate communication and chemical signals in the brain, thereby reducing some symptoms of mental illness. Patients who take long-term medications should meet with psychiatrists regularly to monitor the effectiveness of the medication and possible side effects.​​​

4) Psychologists-

Psychologists study cognitive, emotional and social processes and behaviours by observing, explaining and recording the relationship between people and the surrounding environment. They use their findings to help improve processes and behaviours.

Psychologists can help people learn to cope with stressful situations, overcome addiction, manage chronic diseases, and perform tests and assessments that help diagnose conditions or provide more information about how people think, feel, and behave. These tests can assess intelligence, cognitive strengths and weaknesses, professional abilities and preferences, personality characteristics, and neuropsychological functions.

Psychologists can help solve various health problems and use various evidence-based treatments to help people improve their lives. Most commonly, they use therapy (often called psychotherapy or talk therapy). There are many different styles of treatment, but the psychologist will work with the individual to determine the best way to resolve the personal problem and accommodate the characteristics and preferences of the patient.

Some common types of treatment are cognitive behaviour, interpersonal relationships, humanism, psychodynamics, or a combination of several treatment modalities. Treatment can be directed at individuals, couples, and even families. Some psychologists have even received training in the use of hypnosis. Studies have found hypnosis to be effective for a variety of conditions, including pain, anxiety, and mood disorder

Education, Training, and Credentials-

Psychiatrists is a doctor who has received specialized training in the evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illness. To become a psychiatrist, students must first obtain a bachelor’s degree, and then these budding psychiatrists can go to medical school and receive a doctorate of medicine.

After completing medical training, these budding psychiatrists also completed an additional four years of mental health residency training. This type of resident usually involves working in the psychiatric department of the hospital. They also work with a wide variety of patients, from children to adults, who may have behavioural problems, emotional difficulties, or some type of mental disorder. 4,444 psychiatrists have been trained in different methods of psychotherapy, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). CBT is a popular treatment method that has proven to be very effective in treating various mental illnesses, including anxiety disorders, somatoform disorders, stress, and anger issues.

Psychiatrists also received additional training in specific areas of interest, such as geriatric psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, addictions, and other areas. Then some psychiatrists may choose to further specialize by completing fellowships in areas such as neuropsychiatry, geriatrics, adolescent psychiatry, or psychopharmacology.

Psychologists receive postgraduate training in psychology and pursue a doctorate in clinical or consulting psychology (Doctor of Philosophy) or PsyD (Doctor of Psychology).

The doctoral program generally takes five to seven years to complete, with most states requiring an additional year or two of internships to obtain a license.

During their education, students pursuing a doctorate or doctorate in psychology take the following courses:

  • Personality development
  • Psychological research methods
  • Treatment methods
  • Theory of mind
  • Cognitive therapy
  • Behavioural therapy

The choice of PhD tends to focus more on research. Those with a doctorate in clinical or consulting psychology receive extensive training in research methods and complete thesis. On the other hand, PsyD title options tend to be more practical.

Students pursuing this degree option spend more time learning and practicing clinical methods and treatment methods.

Skill Set-

Psychiatrists often have a strong background in medicine and human biology, and how each person causes mental illness and abnormal behaviour. Psychologists tend to have stronger communication skills and understand how brain processes affect a person’s emotional health. The following table describes the common skills of psychiatrists & psychologists:


Focus on treating emotional and mental suffering.

Emphasize supporting people through trauma.

Focus on identifying and using psychotherapy to work through problems.

Focus on identifying and using psychotherapy to work through problems.


Focus on medication management.

Have a basic foundation in medicine.

Focus on identifying and medically treating disorders.

Work with patients individually.

Career Path

Psychiatrists- If you have an interest in medicine and want to be able to prescribe medications to your patients & more, join the already-established club of various psychiatrists.

Psychiatrists may work in hospitals, but they may also opt to work in community mental health centers, academic settings, or private practice. Those who choose to work in private practice may find that they have more control over their schedules and hours.

Psychologists- If you are interested in conducting psychotherapy, administering psychological tests, and conducting research, join the already-established club of various psychologists.

Some psychologists may choose to work in hospital settings, while others can be found in mental health clinics, government agencies, academic settings, and private practice.

Now, the marquee point of this discussion- Which is the better Healer,

Psychiatrists or Psychologists?

Well, its not like either psychiatrists are better than psychologists or psychologists are better than psychiatrists.

It entirely depends on the type of mental ailment of the person.

Here is a simple example:

If someone you care about is undergoing lots of stress and shows signs of anxiety and depression, it is best to consult a psychologist. Psychologists will take them through mental therapy sessions to ease their troubled mind. Psychiatrists are best consulted when a person is undergoing severe cases of mental illness.

Thus, neither psychiatrists nor psychologists are “better”, as such, than each other.

Again, like it is mentioned above:

It entirely depends on the type of mental ailment of the person!!!

Thus, this was all about ‘Career Counsellor vs Career Mentor- Who is the better Guide’.

We hope you found it to be useful & learnt something today.

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