Psychologists vs Psychiatrist


We are very much familiar with psychologists and psychiatrists but do we know what the difference between these?

Psychologists and psychiatrists both treat people with mental issues. The  important difference is:
Psychologists wont prescribe medicines. They go with the psychotherapy which is a talk therapy.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors. They prescribe medicines. They provide therapy and treatment for mental illness.

This is the common differences which we all know. Lets go through about the differences branches , education, career paths etc.


The scientific study of behavior and mental processes.
History: Wilhelm Wundt founded the first laboratory and studied the psychological experiment in 1879. He also discovered a book, “ Principles of Psychology”. He is known as the, “ Father of Psychology”.

Branches of psychology

Psychology has some major branches. Each branch has its own goals and focus.

  • Abnormal psychology : It focuses on the area of psychology at psychopathology and abnormal psychology.
  • Behavioral psychology: Also known as behaviorism. Psychologists use this strategies such as classical conditioning and operant conditioning to modify behaviors.
  • Clinical psychology: It focuses on treatments of mental illness and disorders.
  • Cognitive psychology: It covers areas of internal mental states.
  • Developmental psychology: It focuses on the growth of social and physical, emotional changes that occurs throughout the lifespan.

Career options  of psychology

There are wide varieties of options are available in terms of degrees. Such as clinical psychologist, Community psychologist, Counselling psychologist, Developmental psychologist, Environmental psychologist etc.

Where can psychologist work?

In every sector there is a need of psychologists. Some of them are:

  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Forensic department
  • Social sectors (NGO’s, social worker)
  • Universities/Schools
  • Counsellors(hospitals)
  • Prisons

How to become a psychologist

  1. First we have to complete a bachelor’s degree ( B.A psychology or BSC psychology etc.)
  2. Choosing a second degree with specialty in psychology.
  3. Completing doctorate
  4. Doing some internships
  5. Finally getting license.



It is the branch of medicine which focuses on diagnosis and treatment of mental, emotional and behavioral disorders.

History: Dr. Benjamin Rush also known as, “Father of American Psychiatry”. He is the one who believed that mental issues is a mind disease.

Branches of psychiatry

Psychiatry also has some different branches:

  • Child psychiatry: It is healing or curing disorders of children. Also includes Adolescents psychiatry.
  • Geriatric psychiatry: It focuses on the old persons problems
  • Forensic psychiatry: It includes legal aspects like criminology, mental ill cases etc.
  • Social psychiatry: It focuses on the treatment of individuals influenced by environment and social groups.
  • Cultural psychiatry: It focuses on the influence of culture on mental health.

Career options of psychiatry

Like psychology, psychiatrists also has many career options like

  • Substance Abuse therapy
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
  • Emergency psychiatrist
  • Forensic psychiatrist
  • Addiction psychiatrist
  • Adult psychiatrist
  • Consultation- liaison psychiatrist

Where can a psychiatrist work?

Psychiatrists can work not only in medical sectors but also in other sectors as psychologists.

  • Hospitals
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Nursing homes
  • Medical centers
  • Private practices
  • Prisons
  • Clinics

How to become  a psychiatrist

  1. Completing a degree in medicine
  2. Taking medical school entrance exam
  3. Getting license
  4. Completing psychiatric residency.


So psychologists and psychiatrists are two kinds of mental health professionals. They play a critical role in mental health field. There are similarities and differences between psychologists and psychiatrists But the common goal of both is to help people with mental issues to get better life.

What do you think?

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Written by Riswana A

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Shramana Singha Roy

simple but informative. thanks for sharing 🙂