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What is the difference between a Psychiatrist and a Psychologist?

A Psychiatrist attends Medical School either in an M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) or D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) program. They then complete a 3-year Residency program in Psychiatry.  Psychiatrists usually emphasize the use of Pharmaceuticals/medications to treat mental health conditions.  They will work with you in determining what is the best medication for your situation and continue to assess and monitor your progress on medication from previous appointments and make changes in your medication accordingly.  Although some Psychiatrists provide psychotherapy and counseling most emphasize treating mental health conditions using medications and assessment and management of medication dosages.  A Psychologist completes a 4-year Doctoral Degree in Psychology (either a Ph.D. or Psy.D.) and 2 years of Supervised Practicum/Intern Experience in the practice of Psychology and are required to pass a Licensing Exam prior to becoming licensed as a Psychologist.    Psychologists do not prescribe medications.  They are trained in a variety of Psychological Counseling and Psychotherapy approaches and methodologies.  Psychologists, depending upon their training and emphasis of practice, treat individuals, marriages and/or couples, and families and provide individual, marriage or relationship counseling, and/or family counseling for a variety of conditions or mental health disorders.  They also may provide formal Psychological Testing and Assessment and Diagnosis in addition to treatment and intervention.  In summary, Psychologists emphasize using counseling and psychotherapy to treat mental health conditions and Psychiatrists emphasize using Medication to treat mental health conditions.  http://emapdrschulz.com

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