Psychiatrist, psychologist or psychoanalyst?
All three are mental health professionals . Therefore, it is understandable that the layman has some difficulty in differentiating between them and seeks to know what distinguishes them. In practice, this need becomes more apparent when a person needs “PSI” assistance for himself or for someone in the family and is not clear about which professional to look for.
While all of these professionals work in the field of mental health , important differences can be identified among them. The differences relate to vocational training, the way of understanding human behavior and, consequently, intervention methods.
The psychiatrist is a doctor with a specialization in Psychiatry. That is, after attending a medical school, he resides in mental health institutions , clinics and psychiatric hospitals, especially studying mental illness and other behaviors that escape “normality”. In this way, the psychiatrist is better prepared to deal with mental illnesses, especially those with a known or supposed organic basis.
Their diagnoses are mostly clinical and manual-based, such as ICD 10 (10th version of the WHO International Code of Diseases) and DSM-V (5th Edition of the American Diagnostic and Statistical Manual ). The treatments developed by them are mainly medicated, with antipsychotics, antidepressants, anxiolytics and other psychotropic drugs. Some psychiatrists, however, feel entitled to address eminently psychological problems , further shuffling the definition of their specific field.
Only a few psychiatrists have specific training in psychotherapy , although many claim to do it, often practicing an amateurish process. However, many psychological situations that do not always require psychotherapy, such as anxiety attacks or reactive depressions, for example, may benefit from drug therapy and can be successfully conducted by the psychiatrist.
The psychologist is a professional who graduated from a Psychology faculty and then specializes in one of several possible areas: clinical, organizational, educational, sports and other. Some psychologists work in university research on human behavior.
The confusion with the psychiatrist is with the clinical psychologists. To work in the clinical field, the psychologist usually specializes in psychological issues and techniques and means to analyze and intervene in them, especially psychotherapy . In Brazil, the psychologist is deprived of prescription drugs. Thus he uses verbal mediation to lead his client to become more aware of the things of his day-to-day life and seeks to provide him with learning healthier ways to deal with his difficulties.
The psychologist who works with clinical psychology is also called a psychotherapist.
Read more about ” Psychotherapy ” and ” Personality Tests “.
The psychoanalyst is a professional of higher level, usually doctor or psychologist, that later does a course in a psychoanalytic institution and submits to Psychoanalysis. This process is generally called “psychoanalytic training” and occurs in a para-legal professional institution.
He meets people with demands sometimes analogous to those presented to the psychologist or psychiatrist, but who wish for a broader reform of his personality. Psychoanalysis is both a psychological theory and a method of treatment introduced by Sigmund Freud and later modified by others, such as Lacan. Although widespread, psychoanalysis has no scientific status and its efficacy is often questionable as regards cost-benefit balance, since it is a complex and long process and may not show significant improvements.
It is common to have a combination of psychotropic drugs and psychotherapy as a means of intervention in certain mental disorders. Thus, it may happen that the psychiatrist sends the referral to the clinical psychologist and, conversely, that the psychologist instructs the patient to also seek a psychiatrist who prescribes medication.