Becoming a Psychologist Versus Psychiatrist

If you are looking to take a class in psychiatry or psychology, which should you enroll in? You must consider the differences between a psychologist or psychiatrist, as well as whether you should be learning psychiatric or psychological skills on your own or through a course.

Becoming a Psychologist Versus Psychiatrist

Psychologists are trained doctors, so they can prescribe medicines, and they typically spend most of their time with individuals in therapy on medication management. Psychologists specialize primarily in treating emotional and psychological disorders in patients using cognitive behavioral therapy and behavior therapy. Psychologists also may study of family dynamics in the workplace.

A psychologist is trained in the diagnostic and psychosocial evaluation of psychological disorders and illnesses. In fact, many psychologists are certified by the American Psychological Association or the American Board of Clinical Psychology. They also participate in professional organizations such as the American College of Clinical Psychology and the International Society of Clinical Psychology.

As a professional psychologist, you will work with a variety of different types of clients. Some of these clients include alcoholics, drug abusers, individuals with anxiety disorders, individuals with phobias, and individuals who are mentally disabled or developmentally disabled, among other clients.

As a psychologist, you will perform diagnostic assessments, help individuals develop plans to improve their mental health care, and offer advice on treatment to clients experiencing a mental health problem or disorder. Many psychologists also participate in psychotherapy sessions, and many have completed courses in family therapy, personality disorder therapy, and social therapy.

If you are interested in becoming a psychologist, you can choose to take a psychiatry or psychology course online or through a community college. There are many online programs available that can help you get a Bachelors of Science in Psychology with an emphasis in psychology, or you can choose to take a clinical psychology degree through a school or institution that offers online programs.

The advantage of taking an online psychology program is that you can work from home, taking classes, taking practice tests, and keeping up to date on current research in order to become a competent psychologist. By working online you also have access to other resources that allow you to stay informed about new developments in the field of psychology and help you prepare for your exam results and career advancement.

If you decide to become a psychologist, there are some major differences between the two fields of psychology or psychiatrist.

Becoming a Psychologist Versus Psychiatrist

Although many psychologists take classes in psychiatry, many psychologists also take courses that teach them to prescribe medications for psychiatric disorders, helping to treat those who do not qualify for psychotherapy or therapy. Psychologists also may participate in group counseling, conduct research, and teach in a university setting, and teach a residency program that takes place at a college or medical institution.

In addition to learning the skills of a psychologist or psychiatrist, you must also learn how to effectively communicate with your clients and work with them in therapy sessions, and you must be licensed by the state where you live in order to practice psychology. Once you have completed your education and your training and gotten your license, you will be required to pass the state licensing examination to practice psychotherapy or psychiatry in your state. Although the licensing examination will not be the same across all states, you will be able to practice within the guidelines of the state where you practice psychology.

Although psychotherapy programs are not as rigidly supervised as those in other areas of medicine, it is important that you have the appropriate training and experience in order to practice psychology and to make the correct diagnoses and recommendations for the treatment of mental illnesses and disorders. The first step you take when becoming a psychiatrist is to get a Master’s degree in Psychology from an accredited university or college that offers both psychology and psychiatry courses.

Another important part of your training is to take a comprehensive examination to become certified by the American Board of Psychology. (ABPS) and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology (ABPN). Both these boards require that all doctors have at least four years of formal psychology training. After completion of both these courses, you will be required to take a test to become a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist.

Although psychotherapy programs are more lenient than those in psychiatry, many people who become psychiatrists or psychologists choose to specialize in one particular area of psychology or another. In this case, they will take a course in child and adolescent psychology, social work, marriage and family therapy, or work with pregnant women or sexually active adolescents. The choice is yours!


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