What are the differences between Psychology, Psychiatry and Psychotherapy?

What are the differences between Psychology, Psychiatry and Psychotherapy?

Staff working in these roles tend to deal with different types of concerns, although there is also considerable overlap in their work.

  • The shortest explanation is that ‘psychotherapist’ is an umbrella term for clinicians who provide ‘typically’ provide talking therapy. 
  • Psychologists often specialise in a particular area such as clinical, forensic, health or educational psychology. 
  • Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have the ability to diagnose and prescribe medication when needed.

What is Psychology?

Psychology is the study of people: how they think, how they act, react and interact. It’s concerned with all aspects of behaviour and the thoughts, feelings and motivation underlying such behaviour.

Psychology is a discipline that is firstly concerned with the normal functioning of the mind and has explored areas such as learning, remembering and the normal psychological development of children. It has been one of the fastest growing university subjects and is increasingly available in schools and colleges.

Psychologists are not usually medically qualified and only a small proportion of people studying psychology degrees will go on to work with patients.

Psychologists can specialise in a number of areas, such as mental health and educational and occupational psychology. In healthcare, psychologists specialise in clinical, counselling, forensic or health psychology.

What is Psychiatry?

Psychiatry is the study of mental health problems and their diagnosis, management and prevention. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have qualified in psychiatry. They often combine a broad general caseload alongside an area of special expertise and research.

What is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is conducted with individuals, groups, couples and families. Psychotherapists help people to overcome stress, emotional and relationship problems or troublesome habits.

There are many different approaches in psychotherapy, or talking therapies, which include:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapies
  • Psychoanalytic therapies
  • Psychodynamic therapies
  • Systemic and family psychotherapy
  • Arts and play therapies
  • Humanistic and integrative psychotherapies
  • Experiential constructivist therapies

At Swift Psychology we are proud to offer psychotherapy and psychology services to support you in overcoming challenges and regaining control of your life

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