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Psychology VS Psychiatry

Updated on July 28, 2011

Many people do not understand what treatment method to chose from when it comes to Psychology VS Psychiatry. Both disciplines treat mental illnesses, however,they have different approach. Psychology is more about talking, free association and sometimes even trying to find the meaning of dreams. While, psychiatry on the other hand, is a discipline similar to psychology, only that it uses medicine or drugs to treat the same problems.

What is Psychology?


Psychology is a branch of science that studies and treats mental processes and behaviors. Its aim is to discover how individuals and groups function and how they relate to another. Psychology uses the scientific method of observation in order to find the root of the problem and then fix it. This works by looking at the patterns of relationships between individuals and groups. These patterns show how individuals relate to each other and to other members of the group.

Psychologists explore different aspects of personality such as attention, emotion, motivation, behavior and cognition among others. They use these as a way to explain the different interactions between people with themselves, with other people and with a group.

Different Applications and Careers in Psychology

A psychologist can work in different fields. It can be a therapist, a researcher, or a counselor. There are different applications to psychology. Some of these vary from law enforcement to the technology industries. There are different advances in artificial intelligence and psychologist have been employed to design programs for robots to learn and interact with people.

Some psychologist believe that the subconscious is part of the mind and they tend to tap into it and find a way to interpret it. They use the scientific method to try to map out the unconscious of a person there are times where they rely on methods that are opposed to empirical observation and are often based by instinct.

How Is Psychiatry Different

Psychiatry studies the treatment of mental disorders, but it takes a medical approach. Some mental disorders are abnormalities in behavior or the way people process information and the way they perceive reality. Psychiatrists are the same as a psychologist, however, psychiatrists are licensed to prescribe medication to cure people.

A psychiatrist assesses the mental status of a patient when treatment begins. This helps the psychiatrist compile a case history. Some like to use psychological test to learn more about the patient. Patients are diagnosed according to the DSM or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This is a manual that is published by the American Psychiatric Association.

The difference of Psychology VS Psychiatry is extensive. While both disciplines look at the mind and its subconscious, try to understand the individual and how the individual relates to other people and groups, they both differ greatly on their approach to treatment. While psychology uses talking as a way of relieving stress, assessing feeling mostly by speaking, psychiatry uses medicine in order to alter a person's mood. Both are different, but necessary for people who suffer from mental problems and need help incorporating into society.

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