Difference between Therapist and Psychiatrist

Today, when almost every person is stressed out and the importance of psychiatrists and therapists has increased significantly. People seek help from them to resolve their mental issues and find some tranquility. However, the frequently asked question is what’s the difference between a psychiatrist and therapist.

The basic and biggest difference is that a psychiatrist can prescribe medication while doing the talk whereas a therapist is not authorised to recommend medicines. Therapists rely only on talk therapy whereas a psychiatrist can do both, medication and talk.

Moreover, a psychologist’s job is to do research, test and assess the personality before the treatment while a therapist does all this during talk therapy.


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    A therapist is a trained professional who helps people to achieve a content state of mind. An occupational therapist (OT) is just like a high priest who listens to his visitors, consoles them and advises them some valid actions to change the course of life. A counsellor elevates the mental productivity of the clients and makes them a useful part of the society. No matter, the clients are mentally dejected, emotionally disturbed or physical disable; a therapist engages them in conversation and encourages them to spill all the anger and desperation out. Mostly people think that a therapist is a doctor who can give medicine to calm their nerves. This is a completely wrong notion as a therapist has nothing to do with medicines. Though, they fall in the category of health related profession but still they are not medical doctors. There are several specialisations in this field but most of the therapists choose to deal with family, anger and stress management, violence, grief, loss and mental disorders.

    - Image Courtesy: thirdwavebehavioral.com

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    A psychiatrist is a person skilled in the art of healing psychological disorders. Moreover, psychiatrists are also authorised to prescribe medicine if it’s necessary for the patient. This type of counsellor uses talk therapy along with medication and brings the patient to a level of equanimity. A doctor of psychiatry also conducts physical examination, mental tests and psychotherapy to cure a troubled person. Like any other branch of medicine, psychiatry also has different specialisations. It includes age-group psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, learning disability, neuro-development disorder, dementia etc. One needs a medical degree and a valid license to be a professional psychiatrist.

    - Image Courtesy: 3news.co.nz

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