The primary differences are in the training and focus each type of professional.
A psychologist receives six or more years of training beyond a bachelor’s degree. This training focuses on the psychological causes of human thoughts, feelings, and behavior, how to conduct psychotherapy, and how to help people who are dealing with psychological problems. Psychologists are licensed by the state, and they do not prescribe medications. Only people with the requisite training and licensure have the legal right to call themselves psychologists.
A psychiatrist, in contrast, is a medical doctor with a specialization in the medical and physiological underpinnings of human behavior. Because of this, a psychiatrist is qualified to prescribe medications. Psychiatrists are also licensed by the state.
A social worker is someone who has a masters degree in social work (MSW), which typically takes three years of training beyond a bachelor’s degree. Social workers often, but always, look at the patient’s problems in the greater context of the social entities around him or her. Social workers are also licensed by the state.
A marriage and family therapist (MFT) is someone who has a masters degree in the area of marriage and family therapy, which also typically takes three years of training beyond a bachelor’s degree. MFT’s are also licensed by the state.
A psychologist treats patients on a one-on-one basis; dealing with “inner healings” through counselling. Dealings with childhood trauma; sexual/physical abuse; depression; behavioral disorders, family & relationship counselling; sexual disorders, etc. Its primary goal is the relief of mental suffering and improvement of mental well-being.
Psychology is an academic and applied field involving the study of the human mind, brain, and behavior. Psychology
The word ‘psychiatry’ derives from the Greek for “healer of the spirit”.
Both are independent of each other. Depending on which one you need, you may be referred to one or the other. 🙂
PSYCHIATRIST These are medically trained Doctors who have chosen to specialise in treating mental disorders. The only ones qualified to prescribe medication. Some psychiatrists have undergone extra training in therapy and offer similar things to psychologists or psychotherapists
PSYCHOLOGIST Anyone who has obtained a Psychology degree is entitled to call themselves a Psychologist. However, there are many different kinds of Psychologist, and the people who are qualified to offer therapy are usually called Clinical Psychologists or Counselling Psychologists. These people undergo an extra 3 year training which usually qualifies them up to a Doctorate level. This can be a little confusing as they are Doctors of Psychology, not medicine. They are usually trained in a variety of different therapies and are in a good position to assess you for the type of therapy you might need, and often are able to provide it.