Health & Wellness

Difference Between A Psychiatrist And A Psychologist In Corpus Christi

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Difference Between A Psychiatrist And A Psychologist In Corpus Christi

The words psychiatrist and psychologist sound similar. Both professionals are trained to handle mental health situations too. So, it's not uncommon to have one confused for the other.

But though psychiatrists and psychologists share some similarities, they are not the same. 

You can ask any psychiatrist in Corpus Christi TX if you want to find out more about their core difference. 

There are quite a few factors that distinguish them from each other. 

Here are two of the major differences between a psychiatrist and a psychologist.

Difference Between a Psychiatrist and a Psychologist in Corpus Christi


1. Practice

They usually use different equipment in their practice. Sometimes they do not work in the same environment.
How a psychiatrist operates

A psychiatrist deals with mental health issues that need medication. Examples of these issues are:

  • bipolar disorder
  • anxiety disorder
  • schizophrenia
  • ADHD
  • PTSD

They diagnose these health conditions by carrying out tests like

  • psychological tests
  • lab tests
  • evaluations arrived at from discussions with the patients.
The psychiatrist then either prescribes medication or refers the patient to a therapist. 

Some common medications used by these health care practitioners are:

  • Sedatives
  • Stimulants
  • Mood stabilizers
  • Antipsychotic medications
  • Antidepressants

Visit here to find out more about mental health medications. 

The psychiatrist will keep the patient under close watch. This is to check the med's effectiveness or if there are any negative effects. 

They will change the dose of medication based on this evaluation.

A psychiatrist may also work in the following settings:

  • Hospitals
  • Universities medical centers
  • Prisons
  • Nursing homes
  • Hospice programs
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Private practices
  • Psychiatric hospitals
How Psychologists Operate

Psychologists also take care of people with mental health disorders. 

They would survey, interview, and observe as their major ways to diagnose patients.

Unlike psychiatrists, psychologists cannot prescribe medication. 

In some states though, psychologists with additional qualifications are allowed to. 

The states that allow this are:

  • New Mexico
  • Louisiana
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Idaho

Psychologists in Guam and the military are also allowed to prescribe medicines.

They can also work in the same locations as psychiatrists.

Talk therapy is their method of treatment. It's where they sit with the patients and talk through their issues.

This therapy is usually divided into sessions. 

It's aimed to help the patient understand the symptoms they have and learn to manage or handle them.

A common type of therapy used by psychologists is cognitive-behavioral therapy. 

This helps the patient overcome pessimistic or depressing thought patterns. 

Talk therapy may be in the following forms:

  • Patient and Doctor therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
Psychiatrist And A Psychologist


Aside from their practices, their training requirements and educational background are also different.


  1. They graduate with a doctor of medicine degree or a doctor of osteopathic medicine. Visit to learn their differences. 
  2. After acquiring the degree, they will need to write an exam that will give them their license to practice.
  3. Before they can start practicing, they have to do a residency for 4 years. During this time, they work in outpatient settings and hospitals. This helps them gather experience in the field. 
  4. They have to take the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology exams to get certified. This certification has to be renewed every ten years.

  1. These professionals need to finish graduate school. 
  2. They also need to complete doctorate-level training. For this, they may either pursue a doctor of philosophy or a doctor of psychology. Earning these degrees may take between 4 to 6 years.
  3. After getting a doctorate, they need to complete a training program that would span for either a year or two. 
  4. Finally, they would take a licensing exam.

Confusing a psychiatrist for a psychologist is a common mistake. They both treat people with mental health issues after all. 

Despite this similarity, these professions are quite different. 

The major difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist is their practices and educational background.

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