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Mind vs. Medicine

Since as far back as when the great Greek Philosopher Aristotle studied the workings of human emotions, learning, and perception, scientists and doctors alike have been interested in the mysterious workings of the human mind. Across various nations, the studies of the brain developed and expanded as technology and science created new and innovated ways to study and observe through scientific learning. However, it has become apparent that the minds of both humans and animals alike are far more complex than scientists and philosophers had originally assumed. Psychology has since become the science of behavior and human processes. Many fields have been developed as sub-divisions within the vast field of psychology. Two of the most common are clinical psychologists and psychiatrists. The most distinct differences between clinical psychologists and psychiatrists are the areas in which they work, they education that is required for them to participate in their fields, and the ways in which they treat their patients.

The field of clinical psychology has become of great interest to numerous individuals in recent years. The desire to help and understand people is shared greatly throughout the nation, and even the world. Year by year, more and more clinics are being opened for new clinical psychologists to open their own practices in. The clinics generally consist of one or more offices where the psychologist either runs his own practice or shares the practice with other psychologists of the same demeanor. Each of the psychologists has been through at least four years of college and has received a bachelor’s degree in psychology. To receive the title of clinical psychologist, a person must have completed a four-year bachelors program at a university. After the psychologist receives his four-year degree and entered a clinic, it is time for the psychologist to begin his practice. Within the clinic, the psychologist may administer psychotherapy and rehabilitation within the clinic. Clinical psychologists always administer some sort of therapeutic help towards their patients.

Yet another field of psychology, psychiatry has grown vastly in recent years as well. Many people find clinical psychology more appealing however. Psychiatry is a sub-division in medicine, so psychiatrists work in hospitals, in doctor’s offices, or in their own practices. Psychiatrists must have completed a four-year bachelors degree and received a masters degree in psychology. Most psychiatrists have their PHD in psychology as well, and some even have an OCD. Psychiatrists are medical doctors that, therefore, not only offer therapeutic options to their patients (i.e. counseling and rehabilitation services), but they also have the option of treating their patients with medication. Psychological drugs may not be administered without recommendation from a psychiatrist.

Though the fields of clinical psychology and psychiatry are so closely related, there are differences in the two fields. Clinical psychologists practice therapy in privately owned facilities while psychiatrists may practice therapy in hospitals, doctor’s offices, or privately owned practices. The reason for such a difference is that clinical psychologists have undergone less education than psychiatrists do. Clinical psychologists have received a bachelor’s degree in psychology only, while psychiatrists are medical doctors that have undergone medical school. The most significant difference between clinical psychologists and psychiatrists is that clinical psychologists may only administer therapy, while psychiatrists have the option of administering medications for their patients as well.

The most clearly defined differences between clinical psychology and psychiatry are the places that therapy is practiced, the education that the psychologists undergo, and the way in which therapy is administered to the patients. Throughout the vast field of psychology, clinical psychology and psychiatry stand as two of the most common studies and practices for psychologists. Though the mysteries of the mind stand as unrevealed, people will continue to research and learn throughout the years to come as they have in the past.


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