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What is the difference between a Psychiatrist and a Therapist?

In considering the difference between a Psychiatrist and a Therapist it is important to note that all Psychiatrists can be therapist, but not all therapist are Psychiatrists.

Simply put the difference between a Psychiatrist and a Therapist is that Psychiatrists have MEDICAL training (a doctorate degree), while therapist have only a masters degree.  Many things need to be considered in the difference between a Psychiatrist and a Therapist.  One extremely important one is that psychiatrists have gone to medical school to be a medical doctor and are licensed to prescribe medication in addition to providing therapy.

In exploring the difference between a Psychiatrist and a Therapist it is important to keep this in mind when you are seeking professional help.  If you want someone that can provide you with complete care, medications (if needed) and therapy, you may want to see a Psychiatrist.

So let’s take a look at the difference between a Psychiatrist and a Therapist. Psychiatrists are able to prescribe medication, perform evaluations, do therapy and even do psychological testing.  Therapist can only provide therapy.  So if you feel you may need medication see a Psychiatrist.

Another difference between a Psychiatrist and a Therapist is in the amount of training between them.  To become a Psychiatrist you need to complete four years of college/university, four years of medical school and a minimum of four years of a psychiatric residency.  This is a total of twelve years after high school.  If they are specialized, such as a Child Psychiatrist, even more training (another 2 years) is required, bringing the total training years to 14.  A therapist can have as little as six years total.  Four years of college/university, and then an additional two years to get a masters degree, in their chosen area of specialization.

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