Difference Between..

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by PandorasToybox, Dec 19, 2009.

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  1. PandorasToybox

    PandorasToybox Well-Known Member

    I'm going to make another attempt to get help. But I was wondering, if someone could explain to me the difference between a psychologist, psychiatrist & a therapist?
    I have a basic idea of what each does, but what are the major purposes & differences?
  2. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    Psychiatrist is mainly medical deals with diagnosing and prescribing medication some do therapy but most just are medical have a degree
    Psychologist are not allowed to prescribe medication but have a degree and are trained in most types of therapy they can diagnose but will send you to a doctor if they feel you need to be medicated. I feel they are the best because they do the one on one therapy that help you change.
    Therapist are not registered i believe as the other two are registered and licensed a therapist can be someone with college degree that took social work or other courses to help you they do not have all the skills that a psychologist will have having a higher degree of training.
    Therapist may just be trained in one area as well like sex therapist or addiction councillor etc. I go with psychologist and just see psychiatrist or GP if i need medication. take care hope i helped
  3. twc

    twc Well-Known Member

    Sure thing.

    The difference is basically their training and whether or not they can prescribe meds.

    Psychiatrists-- are M.D.s. They went to medical school and are doctors, equivalent in every way to other doctors. Only they can prescribe medication.

    Psychologists-- usually have PhDs or are on their way. They cannot prescribe any drugs. Some of them have "Dr." before their name, though they are not MDs. They usually do a lot of research at universities and hospitals for their training.

    Therapists-- can be anyone who does counseling, but usually means they have a Social Work degree (Masters degree). They are similar to Psychologists, but with fewer years of study.

    Pretty much any of them will do talking therapy. Psychiatrists also give out meds.

    Oh, and generally they are more expensive from the top category down.
  4. twc

    twc Well-Known Member

    Also, on a more practical level, when you are looking for help:

    If you just need to talk, or really need to talk A LOT, or really need help fast (but not in the next 20 minutes), then you should probably contact a psychologist or therapist that seems helpful. If you don't know anyone, you can get recommendations or referrals from people you know, or even just advertisements or internet pages. Psychologists will generally be more expensive, but will have more training, especially with very specialized issues. Many therapists, however, can have a more approachable style, especially if they have been working for many years.

    I wouldn't recommend going to a Psychiatrist first because they mostly just give out pills these days, and they are very expensive. (Although in Canada, cost may not be the biggest issue.) However if you find a good one there's nothing wrong with talking to them.

    I'm sure other people have a lot of opinions on this subject! I hope you can get whatever you need.
  5. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    Psychiatrist in Canada you do not have to pay it is covered under health card
    Psychologist you have to pay some work places will cover for psychologist but not for therapist so check with you work place first.
  6. PandorasToybox

    PandorasToybox Well-Known Member

    Thanks you "guys". Really appreciate the replies.

    I'm going to get my college counselor to set something up for me. Mine as well save whatever is left of the sanity :laugh:

    For sure I'm covered for all three (MH issues seem to be plaguing our city these days..). I didn't want to enter into this clueless though. I think that's what went wrong before: I just went into it blindly & had no clue what was supposed to be going on.

    I'll probably end up on a wait list, but oh well, better than nothing
  7. twc

    twc Well-Known Member

    Sure thing, and violet seems to know the Canadian system...

    I'm glad I could help somehow... I've been to SO many bad therapists and have had so many frustrating experiences... just to ramble a bit more -- something that I didn't think about for a long time is that talking to a male vs a female makes a big difference. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, whether it's a same-sex or opposite-sex situation. One may not be better or worse, but IMO the experience is just different. Also, the same thing is often true for age, but in a much more subtle way.

    Hope this helps!
  8. PandorasToybox

    PandorasToybox Well-Known Member

    Mm, I was JUST thinking about that. Despite past events, I tend to have a better time connecting with male therapists. I guess the opposites attract thing works for me.
    Although I guess that makes me wonder too then if it's still appropriate to tell them about certain situations. Am I still allowed to tell a male counselor/therapist/psych. the same things I would a female?
  9. Mortal Moon

    Mortal Moon Well-Known Member

    Absolutely. They may have slightly different reactions and approaches to certain gender-sensitive issues (relationships, sexual preferences, rape, etc.), but in general they all receive similar training and are prepared to listen and help with just about anything you throw at them. So I would suggest that you go with your gut and choose what feels best for you. And remember that if one counselor just doesn't work out for some reason, there's no shame in switching to someone else. Keep trying until you get the help you need.
  10. PandorasToybox

    PandorasToybox Well-Known Member

    Thanks :smile:

    My counselor & I are fairly close, but I wasn't sure if there was some gender policy (?) or something in place, when it came to what is discussed (you honestly never know in todays sensitive society...).
  11. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    In easy terms to remember:

    Psychiatrists - prescribes meds; docs

    Psychologists - talk, diagnose

    Therapists - administers treatments (not always meds, but other means), therapy, makes you feel good
  12. bubblin girl

    bubblin girl Well-Known Member

    thanks silverkoi...im glad you ask cos im confused between them...
    violet & twc:thanks alot for the info...its help me alot...
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