What Does a Psychiatrist Do?
What exactly is psychiatry? In simple terms, psychiatry is the field of medical practice that focuses on the identification, diagnosis, and treatment of various mental health issues. Psychoanalysts are psychiatrists that also go by the name of psychotherapists, meaning that they work in conjunction with a psychiatrist, as they diagnose, treat, and help manage mental illnesses through counseling sessions, group therapy, and psychotherapy.
What does this mean for the person looking to enter into one of these professions? Well, a psychiatrist will often take either a full time doctorate or a doctoral degree. If you are planning to become a psychiatrist you should have a master’s degree prior to beginning your employment, as it will provide you with a great deal more specialized and relevant information when you are evaluating patients and their mental states. The second degree that will be required of you is a PsyD, or a Doctor of Mental Health, and is a requirement for all psychiatrists that are working in public health settings.
psychiatrists who choose to go straight into medicine must have certain qualities that all psychiatrists who are trained in mental health have, and those traits come in the form of an educational background in psychology. Most psychiatrists that choose to go straight into medicine must have a bachelor’s degree before they can practice legally. In order to become licensed to practice medicine in any state in the United States you must complete a four-year residency in an approved mental hospital for two years before you can practice medicine. After you have completed your four year residency in a mental hospital you will be registered as a practicing psychiatrist and able to apply for licensing.
Now, some of the differences between psychiatrists and psychologists are not only in training but also in how they prescribe medication and in how they diagnose mental illnesses. Both types of medical doctors prescribe medication to help patients deal with their problems. However, psychiatrists spend a lot of time talking to their patients and diagnosing their symptoms. For example, if a patient comes in complaining of chest pain and depression, the doctor will ask the patient about their lifestyle, work/business patterns and whether they smoke, all of which will be considered when prescribing medication and treating the patient. In contrast, a psychologist will address the symptom of depression by conducting personal counseling with the individual. This type of counseling is aimed at relaxing the patient and helps them develop a positive attitude toward life.
Psychotherapists are trained to diagnose and provide individual and group counseling. They provide support, help manage stress and teach ways to cope with symptoms such as anxiety and depression. These therapists also assess and treat patients based on their needs. Depending on what a patient requires they may need various services. For example, a person suffering from substance use disorder may require counseling, education, therapy and substance use rehab.
Clinical psychologists also specialize in other psychological treatments such as behavior therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. They provide information and advice to families and individuals on how to deal with depression, anxiety and other psychological conditions. Some clinics offer these psychological treatments to people who have recently been hospitalized for depression, schizophrenia or a similar disorder. However, many psychiatrists offer these services to patients who have been ill for quite some time.
Most psychiatrists specialize in either psychodynamic (mental health disorders) or cognitive behavioral therapy. The former helps patients deal with issues in their subconscious mind; while the latter addresses and combats behavior problems. Most psychiatrists also have specialized training in social anxiety. This is a common condition among elderly individuals who suffer form social anxiety disorder.
A psychiatrist who specializes in anxiety, or the other mental disorders mentioned above, should have acquired a college degree in the field, along with a Masters Degree and preferably a Ph.D. Also required is an extensive amount of experience in mental health treatment. Usually, therapists will undergo some sort of clinical training before they are able to prescribe an effective treatment for their clients. This clinical training can take up to one year. In addition to psychotherapy, a psychiatrist may also recommend medication to their clients if they are suffering from a serious mental illness. However, it is important to note that medication should only be prescribed by trained professionals.