They need to have a host of specific skills that they employ in their work, including:
- Ability to do research and collect data to get an understanding of patient history
- Consulting with other behavioral and health professionals and organizations about violence, suicide, and other tendencies to understand crucial aspects of patient behavior
- Possessing knowledge of various types of mental illness and how to diagnose and treat them
- Understanding the relationship between mental health issues and other underlying conditions
Psychiatrists, psychologists, and counsellors are all trained in providing psychotherapeutic interventions to counsel people suffering from mental illnesses or emotional distress. However, there are important differences between the professions in terms of educational qualifications and responsibilities to treat patients.
They have a requirement of obtaining a master’s degree or higher in the counseling of mental health or marriage therapy or family therapy. They work in private practices, mental health clinics, or in educational or professional settings like in schools or offices.
Counsellors generally help in assessing patients and helping them to cope through talk therapy in a confidential environment where assistance can be provided for people having issues such as anxiety, relationship issues, sexual disorders, eating disorders, life changes or substance abuse, However, it is a requisite in most states for a professional counselor to be licensed in order for them to practice.
Similar to professional counsellors, they are trained in the assessment and diagnosis of people suffering from mental, emotional or psychological disorders. However, it is in their professional capacity to provide psychological or diagnostic tests as well as cognitive therapy to treat their patients as well as consult with medical professionals for a medication of their patients.
Clinical Psychologist Doctors usually have doctoral degrees (Ph.D., Mphil, Psy.D., or Ed.D.) and can conduct scientific research or train to get a license for the practice. This means that psychologists gather experience through seven years of graduate training after their four years of college by gathering experience through internships and apprenticeships under the supervision of licensed psychologists.
They are medical doctors who are specialized in treating and diagnosing patients suffering from mood disorders as well as other cognitive illnesses.
One of the main differences between other psychotherapy professions is that psychiatrists are licensed doctors who can prescribe medication as well as provide other services such as psychotherapy as well.
Despite these confusing differences, sometimes a patient may need to work along with counsellors, clinical psychologists, and psychiatrists simultaneously based on the condition and the treatment protocol.
They are overlapping professions and one may refer to the other to bridge certain treatment gaps that may arise in their modality. For example, if a patient is benefiting more from a therapeutic approach, then the majority of their treatment will be conducted by a counsellor. However, if a medical intervention is needed and drugs are to be prescribed, a clinical psychologist is consulted to ensure that the right support can be given in terms of pharmacological interventions.
Consulting a psychologist or a psychiatrist depends solely on the patient. While a psychologist is trained to look at the behavioral aspects of the patient, a psychiatrist will typically look at the biological factors behind the deficits of mental health.
Picking a psychologist or a psychiatrist depends on several factors depending on the individual wanting therapy or medication. A psychologist typically uses talking therapy to understand the problems of patients whereas a psychiatrist can prescribe medication more easily looking at a more biological aspect.
A patient can even consult both a psychiatrist and a psychologist to get a more conclusive diagnosis.