Differences Between Psychiatric Treatment and Psychotherapy


People have always been confused with all the terms that exist in the realm of mental well-being and the professionals who are responsible for it. For a long time, everyone has been confusing psychologists and psychiatrists. As if that weren’t enough, though, we have also decided to add psychotherapists to the mix. So, everything is even more complicated right now and people are bound to be a bit confused.

Today, those people are most often confused about the differences between psychiatric treatments and psychotherapy. It is perfectly normal to be interested in learning these differences, since it will help you decide precisely which treatment type you actually need. When you start feeling overwhelmed and when you start noticing that your mental health isn’t quite as good as it should be, you are highly likely to start wondering right away about seeing a professional.

If you cannot decide which professional to visit, though, then you won’t be able to make a positive impact on your mental health at all. Of course, the truth is that whichever one of these experts you visit, they will refer you to the right one. Thus, you can have no excuses for not taking care of your mental health. You might not know which professionals are up to which tasks, but you can still visit any one of them, tell them what’s bothering you and be referred to the right expert.

The same goes for when you are perhaps worried about a family member or a friend that might need treatment. If you don’t know where to take them, taking them anywhere is always much better than simply sitting back and wondering what to do. After all, if someone needs help, asking for it is the right move. And, ignoring the issues can be extremely hurtful.

Even though you can visit any of these pros, though, it is completely normal that you want to learn the differences between psychiatric treatment and psychotherapy, as that will help you understand everything much better and know what to expect from both of these approaches. Well, if you’re ready to learn, then you should continue reading. I’ll explain the differences and help you understand which expert you should visit.

Read more here about psychiatry and counseling: https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/guide-to-psychiatry-and-counseling

1Psychiatric Treatment

Psychiatric treatments are mostly focused on diagnosing, treating, as well as preventing future mental disorders. Those disorders they work with include depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, ADHD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, substance abuse, sleeping disorders and other mental health issues. In the simplest words possible, they are responsible for treating and addressing any types of mental health problems and disorders that you someone might have.

Another thing you should know is that this type of treatment also includes the use of medications. To put it differently, a psychiatrist is allowed not only to talk things through and diagnose certain disorders, but also to prescribe medication when they see fit. Of course, this does not mean that no psychiatric treatment will include talk therapy at all, because some of these professionals can provide their patients with that as well.


I have mentioned talk therapy above, and I should now make it clear that it is the most important form of psychotherapy. There are, however, some other ones as well, including art or body-oriented psychotherapy, or similar ones. Yet, let me stick with explaining what this type of treatment actually consists of and what it can help with, since I’m sure you understand that there are different approaches and that you’ll need to choose the right one for you.

Basically, psychotherapy deals with general mental health care and it consists of patients and professionals meeting on a regular basis for a shorter or a longer period of time in order to solve any mental health issues that the patient might be having. One difference you should keep in mind here is that psychotherapists don’t deal only with psychotic patients and personality disorders. Instead, their doors are wide open to everyone who wants to work on their psychological well-being or perhaps try to overcome some difficult situations.

So, these professionals are practically your go to option for just about anything you might be experiencing, from stress to grieving. Of course, if they assess that you might need medication as well, they will refer you to a psychiatrist to prescribe it. That, however, does not mean that the psychotherapy has to stop. You can use both treatment options at the same time in order to get and stay healthy.

3Is A Psychiatrist Automatically A Psychotherapist?

Before you start searching for a Rockville Psychiatrist or a therapist and start working on your health, you probably have a few more questions. If you’re wondering if a psychiatrist automatically becomes a psychotherapist upon finishing medical school, then let me explain that. The simple answer is no. Upon finishing university, these professionals need to go through further education in order to equip themselves with the knowledge and skills necessary for the psychotherapy process. There are various different schools they can attend and approaches they can choose, and the duration of their education will depend on that choice.

4Is Every Psychotherapist A Psychiatrist?

If you have a slightly different thing on your mind and you’re wondering if every psychotherapist has first become a psychiatrist, then the answer is still no. Psychologists can also go into this profession, and so can other people of high education who are willing to put in years of work into finishing the necessary schools and trainings. I hope that the differences and the similarities are now a bit clearer to you.

5Which One Do You Need?

After you’ve learned about the differences and the similarities between these two treatment processes, you are bound to start wondering which path you should actually take. Well, if you’ve been reading carefully, then you now have a much better idea about that. The psychiatric treatment is mostly focused on diagnosis and treatment with medications, while the psychotherapy process is focused on strengthening your own mental apparatus to deal with those issues, without medication.

As I have mentioned quite a few times, though, don’t worry if you have no clue which one of these professionals you should visit. The truth is that taking the step to visit any one of them is wise, because you’ll essentially be taking a step towards improving your mental health. And, on top of that, these professionals collaborate with one another, meaning that they will gladly refer you to a different specialist if they find that you need that. So, the most important thing to do is take the first step towards treatment, and you can then let the pros guide you through the rest of the process.