Difference between Psychology and Psychiatry


Psychology is the study of the human mind and behavior. It tries to understand and explain thought, emotion, and behavior. It also helps to understand the relationship between thoughts, emotions and the resulting behavior. The main branches of psychology are clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, forensic psychology, health psychology, occupational psychology, social psychology, etc. The degree course deals with basic psychological processes during the first year. In the second and third year, the course will have classes on its various branches like child psychology, developmental psychology, abnormal psychology, industrial organizational psychology, etc. There will also be classes on counseling. Students get to major in one of the branches of the subject for their post graduation. Psychiatry is related to the study of mental disorders and treatment of the same. It is one of the branches of medicine. It looks into the various aspects such as behavioral, perpetual and cognitive disorders. In order to become a Psychiatrist one must first study complete MBBS and then take a specialization in that stream.

Psychiatry Course and Opportunities

Psychiatry is that branch of medicine that studies and treats of mental, emotional and behavioral disorders. The main branches of psychiatry are clinical psychiatry, neuropsychiatry, forensic psychiatry, etc. Psychiatry is a specialization taken during post graduation in medicine. The course deals with psychology, psychiatry and branches of these subjects, neuro anatomy, neurophysiology, and genetics, neurology, etc. For those interested in a teaching career M Sc Psychiatry is a good option. Those who intend to practice take the MD/MS.

Psychology Course and Opportunities

Psychology deals with the way the mind works- process, reaction, emotion and nature of the human mind. A psychologist treats on the basis of a patient’s behavior and thought process. A psychologist does not have a medical degree and hence there is no medication. Counseling sessions conducted by a psychologist helps people understand their issues and make changes in them to improve their life. Psychologists are offered jobs in many areas like hospitals, management, education, law and sports.  Psychiatry deals with mental health. Unlike psychologists, psychiatrists are qualified doctors who prescribe medicines to patients. Since they initially have to take a medical degree, they are able to understand better the relation between a patient’s mental health and other diseases. Psychiatrists usually work in government and private hospitals.

Key differentiators between Psychology and Psychiatry

There are many differences between Psychology and Psychiatry. One of the first dissimilarity would be the varied nomenclature. Psychiatrists and Psychologists over and over again treat the same issues, in different ways. Psychotherapy techniques facilitate both fields to work on the research side and the practicing side. Psychiatrists are basically doctors with certification of MD or DO. On the other hand a Psychologist is less medically oriented and more scientifically rooted. Even though Psychology and Psychiatry can handle similar patients and caseloads, there is difference in their philosophy. One main difference is that a Psychologist does not have the power to prescribe medication to their patients, as long as there is no consultation with and approved licensed Psychiatrist. A Psychiatrist usually treats illnesses through medicines and less on psychotherapy, and a Psychologists way opposite, since most cannot prescribe medication.



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8 Responses to “Difference between Psychology and Psychiatry”

  1. 8

    I am student of 1st year in MBBS.
    Which subject / topics may more helpful to me to become good psychiatrist?

  2. 7

    i’m doing 12 from commerce..
    can i become a psychologist or a psychiarist?? what r my options??

  3. 6

    what meaning of psychology spelling

  4. 5

    is psychology seats are competitive in puducherry

  5. 4

    what are the questions available for psycology??

  6. 3
    Chandan Bhattacharyya:

    If i do B.A. in sociology could i do M.A. in psycology and PhD in clinical psycology through IGNOU?

  7. 2

    how can i make my career in sociology? I am m.phil. and NET qualified in sociology.

  8. 1

    is there any way to become a psychiatrist after doing B.sc