Psychotherapy session, woman talking to his psychologist

What Is the Difference Between a Psychiatrist and a Therapist?

Are you looking to see an expert for your behavioral, mental, and/or emotional troubles? If so, you shouldn’t feel alone.

More and more people in the United States are turning to these kinds of counseling services every day. And, the mental health revolution is only getting stronger as people discover just how important mental wellbeing is.

If you’re seeking these services, you may be wondering about the difference between a psychiatrist and a therapist. These positions are similar, but they aren’t the same.

Keep reading to learn more.

What Is a Psychiatrist?

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specialized in mental health. They are qualified to handle the mental and physical aspects of a patient’s psychological problems. This is because of the years that they spent in medical school passing both medical and psychological tests.

Psychiatrists have the unique ability to see the relationships between a patient’s mental illness and inward physiology. So, they can provide effective treatment plans.

What Is a Therapist?

A therapist has the ability to help people make sense of difficult emotions and experiences. This can help people learn how to thrive in difficult situations in their lives.

Therapists provide a sense of support in daunting times. They can help someone unpack their own feelings and emotions as well as their past. These things could be clouding present situations.

The Difference Between a Psychiatrist and a Therapist

The main difference between a psychiatrist and a therapist is their levels of training.

A psychiatrist completes four years of an undergraduate program, four years of medical school, and four years in a psychiatry residency program. A therapist completes four years in an undergraduate program and two years in a Master’s program related to mental health and/or therapy. Then, they complete licensure for the state in which they’re practicing.

Because they have more training, psychiatrists are equipped to deal with more serious mental health problems. If you have a diagnosed mental health condition or believe that you may have one, you should consult a psychiatrist rather than a therapist.

People who would like emotional support and mental health tactics should see a therapist.

You should keep in mind that a psychiatrist can prescribe medications for mental health issues and the like. So, if you’re looking into stabilization medications, you should see a psychiatrist rather than a therapist.

When in doubt, we recommend seeing a psychiatrist. Therapists are helpful for digesting everyday situations, but a psychiatrist can offer more. So, if you’re not sure who to see, you should start with a psychiatrist.

Learning More About Your Well-Being

Now that you know the difference between a psychiatrist and a therapist, you can get the help that you need. Our mental and emotional wellbeing is extremely important, and we commend you for joining the mental health movement.

You’re not alone. So many of us are struggling. And, the right thing to do is get help from a professional.

To learn more about your well-being and how you can take care of yourself, check out the rest of our blog.