A psychiatrist, a psychologist and a therapist...

What is the difference between the three? I was told in cma class but I forgot


Most Helpful Girl

  • A psychiatrist has a medical degree and a few years of education about psychology, and can perscribe medication. A psychologist has 8+ years of psychology school, and no medical degree. They are more experienced in therapy, but cannot perscribe medication. A therapist has 4+ years of psychology or social work, and can give therapy. A therapist is a good person to talk to for regular problems (Depression, problems at work, etc). A psychologist can do all of these, as well as more complex issues ( behavior therapy, mental health, etc), and a psychiatrist will perscribe medications for serious depression, skizophrenia, etc. Depending on where you live and what kind of healthcare you have access too, a therapist is likely the cheapest option. For very difficult problems, a psychologist and psychiatrist might work together for the treatment of one person, who would see the psychiatrist to get medications, and a psychologist would give them therapy.

    If you're having trouble, talk to your doctor or counsilor about it, and they will do what they can to help. They will refer you to the right person. :D

    • I just started seeing a therapist yesterday. I realize just from one visit that I am not as crazy as I thought.

      We will see next visit though. Haha


What Girls Said 14

  • Psychiatrist is an MD. A psychologist is one who studied human psychology. A therapist specializes in behavioral issues. They use various methodologies such as cognitive therapy, EMDR, etc.

    of purse a psychologist can do the same.

  • As someone who has a BA in psychology, I'm gonna tell you the difference, this going to be quite a long answer.

    A psychiatrist, a psychologist and a therapist are different in the way they handle patients and their education background.

    A psychiatrist is usually a doctor, they have to take a medicine degree, and then continue their education as a psychiatrist, this, given the medicine background, give them the ability to give patients medications. Also, usually, a psychiatrist treat patients that have more severe mental illness, who often need medication to help their treatment, this patients usually belong to the psychotic category, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc.

    A psychologist, is someone who has a psychology background in their education. Psychologist is usually more focused in using variety of techniques to treat or help patients. They can't and don't use medication to treat patients. A psychologist, given their educational background in assessing and analyzing human behavior, have the ability to diagnose people with mental problems. So, they can give patient a diagnosis as well as treating or helping them to recover. A psychologist also usually treat patients with less severe mental problems, like depression, career or relationship problems, mild anxiety problems. That's why we have school psychologist but no school psychiatrist.

    A therapist is someone that help patients resolving or recover through their problems, they work with patients, but are not necessarily expected to diagnose patients. Usually a therapist can come from any educational background as long as they have been trained or are experienced in working with people with mental problems. Therapist usually doesn't work alone, they will always have a supervisor (can be a psychologist or a psychiatrist) that they have to report the patients progress to. They are the executors of the treatment and are there to help psychologist and psychiatrist.

  • Here you go, this explains it pretty well. I should point out though that technically a psychologist can be a "therapist" as can a social worker. A therapist is just a blanketed term, meaning someone trained to give counseling but they don't have to have any specific level of education.


  • Psychiatrist is allowed and licensed to prescribe medication. Psychologist just studies and listens to your problems. And therapist would essentially be the same just more involved personal excercises to do whatever it is a person needs to overcome.

  • Therapist is the one who really works with you mentally and emotionally. A psychiatrist prescribes the pills for you. A psychologist studies physiology. This is not an educational answer per say, it is an answer coming from personal experience.

  • they have different educational levels completed.

  • A psychiatrist- MD

    a psychologist- PhD

    • Thats a very good answer

  • A psychiatrist knows about medicine and psychology, a pshycologist only knows about the latter and a therapist is jsut like a shoulder to cry on, basically common problems.

  • therapist are for traumas and they don't give meds

    psychologist can give meds out and

    psychiatrists are for intense mental illnesses.

  • Psychiatrist: They have to go to medical school so they can prescribe medicine.

    Psychologist: Does the same thing as a psychiatrist, but didn't go med school, so cannot prescribe pills.

    These are both an example of a therapist.

  • Umm why not google it!?

  • 0|0
    • A link to google, a link to dictionary.com

      And a link to facepalm?

    • The internet's a powerful thing! I linked you google and dictionary.com so that you can do your own searches. The facepalm thing was just what your question made me do.

    • Why?

      I wanted people to answer me.

      Oprah and Barbera Walters did it all the time!

  • You look like you need all three.

    • You think you are all clever behind anonymous mask. Grrrr...


    • Show All
    • Wait, I get confused. I thought anonymous girl was sayins she was joking and asking if I was joking.

      Anyhow, thank you dreamergirl94.

      I think you are strinkingly beautiful myself :)

    • @dreamergirl, suck his d*ck a little harder.

What Guys Said 4

  • Psychiatrist is an actual doctor that went to medical school and can prescribe medication. A psychologist has a phD in psychology and I think a therapist can just have a BA, but I'm not sure about them.

    • Now I remember. Thanks ;)

  • The easiest way to think of it is:

    Psychiatrists are the doctors. They can do everything and everyone refers up to them.

    Psychologists are the nurses. They can diagnose but cannot administer medication. These are the 1-on-1 guys like real nurses that have charges and handle the care of patients including medication management ( not prescription ) and reporting to the main doctor of any changes they suggest. Contrary to popular belief they can perform emergency interventions, like a real nurse, if medication is required but, like a real nurse, I believe it only lasts for a few days at best (3 for real nurses who are not CNPs/DNPs) as well as sign restraint / containment orders.

    Therapists are the aides. While they can diagnose they cannot administer and usually they work with psychologists and psychiatrists to handle programs. In essence they are not 1-on-1 and usually run either groups or they head programs for clients ( hospitals, clinics, State, etc. ) that would take up too much time for the actual Psychologist/Psychiatrist who decides the treatment plan and enacts them.

    So there, that's how the mental hospital works.

  • A psychiatrist is a licensed physician (went to medical school, did a residency) and monitors/prescribes medication to patients.

    A psychologist is someone who has done reseearch in a psychological field. There are social psychologists, personality psychologists, clinical psychologists. They are mainly interested in research, though many are also practicing therapists.

    A therapist is someone who does counseling with patients (basically, the guy taking notes while you lay on the couch). Some of them have PhD and are technically "psychologists" because they have done expert-level research but they are mainly concerned with therapy. There are s MFT'(Marriage Family Therapists which don't require any sort of dissertation or thesis, but rather a lot of supervised training doing therapy) or PsyD's (Doctorate in Psychology) who do a doctoral level degree with a heavy focus on doing talk therapy.

    Therapists and psychiatrists both need to be board-certified and go through a lot of steps to be able to do their work. Psychologists for the most part work for universities (they compete for grant money from organizations like the NIH or the like so that the university will be able to get credit for a hot finding in a psychological journal, maybe). They can also work as consultants for businesses (for example, an Industrial-Organizational psychologist can tell a company how their employees would be more effective, and how to do it by changing certain policies that would increase worker morale).

  • Psychologist studies the brain and is effect on human nature. Psychiatry determines healthy ams unhealthy function. Therapist works with the unhealthy to try to correct or deal worn psychological problems.