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What's The Difference Between Psychotherapy and Psychiatry?

A deeper dive into Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychotherapy.

What is Psychiatry?

Psychiatrists are specialists who prevent, diagnose, and treat people experiencing mental disorders. They are highly trained medical doctors. Because of their advanced education, they can prescribe medications, offer treatments, and diagnose illnesses. They are skilled in managing treatments and providing a range of therapies for complex and serious mental illness.

What is Psychology?

Psychology is the study of mind and behavior. Psychologists and counselors have extensive education, but while they may have a masters or doctoral degree, they are not medical doctors. They are skilled in treating emotional and mental suffering using behavioral and psychological interventions but cannot prescribe medications in most states.

What is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is the use of psychological methods to help a person change behavior and overcome problems. Psychotherapy aims to improve well-being and mental health, often resolving or reducing troublesome behaviors, beliefs, compulsions, stress, and obsessive/compulsive thoughts or emotions.
There are many different approaches to psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy. These include…

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Psychodynamic therapy
  • Trauma therapy
  • Family psychotherapy
  • Art therapy and play therapy
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Couples therapy

Psychotherapy may focus on improving personal symptoms, relationships, and/or social skills. Some psychotherapy methodologies are designed for adults; others are focused on children and adolescents.

What differentiates Psychotherapy and Psychiatry?

Psychotherapists and psychiatrists often work in collaboration with each other to provide the most comprehensive treatment for their patients. This is especially true in integrative psychiatry.

Psychotherapists focus on counseling and talk therapy, using unique methodologies to facilitate behavioral interventions. Psychiatrists provide medical insight and can prescribe specific medications. Psychotherapists and psychiatrists often find they can more effectively serve the needs and wishes of the patients by working in tandem.

Powered by the Integrative Psychiatry Institute

We’re not only on the forefront of integrative care for patients, but we are also backed by the educational power of the Integrative Psychiatry Institute. Our expert practitioners are learning directly from the premier educational community for integrative psychiatry. Rest assured, our practitioners are constantly implementing new practices from the latest research in innovative mental health care.