Psychologist or psychiatrist: Who should you consult?

If you’re suffering from a mental health disorder, it may be tough to determine who to consult. Here’s all you need to know about it.
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Most people often misunderstand the terms coming from the basis of psychology. We tend to generalise the entire field with only a singular profession when there are many acting. A therapist, psychologist and a psychiatrist differ in their training and skill set but share the same knowledge. As an individual, you or your loved ones can feel varying needs over the course of life.

These needs vary from sometimes wanting to uncover yourself or recover from your childhood or a bad experience, find control and become aware of your present situation, or to get rid of psychotic or neurotic symptoms using therapy or medication. They have their differences and their similarities but they are run by different ways of helping with your problems. Sometimes one of them alone can help you, sometimes they work together for you for optimal results.

Wondering who to consult for a mental health disorder? Dr Kedar Tilwe - Consultant Psychiatrist; Department of Mental Health & Behavioural Sciences at Fortis Hospital, Mumbai, says, “A psychologist is someone who has usually completed their university training and has been awarded a Masters or Doctorate in psychology, whereas a psychiatrist is a doctor, who post their medical degree have to undergo speciality training in all aspects of mental health for at least two years.”

“Since they are medical doctors, psychiatrists are authorised to prescribe medications,” he explains.

“Mental health and illness are best understood as a dynamic spectrum and it changes along with the prevalent social, cultural, biological and psychological norms as well as medical knowledge. While psychiatrists deal with the more serious mental conditions such as major depression, anxiety, psychosis, etc., psychologists tend to focus more on therapy and counselling,” he adds.

But evidence-based studies have pointed out that the best results are often achieved when the focus is the Person and both Psychiatrists and psychologists work together as a team !!!

So if you find yourself in distress it is important to reach out to a Mental health professional near you!!


Uou should really consult both sides when righting anarticle. What you miss is that psychiatrist does a rotation in mental health while psychologists have extensive training in how to do therapy. Yes, a psychiatrist can prescribe medication and knows the physical medicine side better, but a psychologist understands therapy and how to treat yo without just medicating you.

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