Difference Between Psychiatrist, Psychotherapist, and Psychologist. There are many professions whose representatives work with people, providing assistance in solving emerging problems. Let’s consider three such areas and find out how a psychiatrist differs from a psychotherapist and a psychologist.


Psychiatrist – a medical doctor who identifies signs of mental disorders and is involved in treating such conditions.

Psychotherapist – a specialist who, using special techniques, can eliminate certain negative mental states.

Psychologist – a humanitarian who helps healthy individuals overcome difficulties, improve communication, and more.


The common initial part in the names of these specialties indicates that they are all dedicated to mental processes and states, manifestations of nervous activity. But each solves its own tasks. To better understand the difference between a psychiatrist, psychotherapist, or psychologist, let’s take a closer look at all three professions.

Among them is a purely medical specialty – a psychiatrist. This doctor, among other things, deals with the most severe disorders requiring treatment: schizophrenia, manic manifestations, obsessive oppressive conditions, and so on. Medications are prescribed to help the patient feel relief, and special procedures are conducted. Sometimes hospitalization is necessary.

A psychologist’s specialty is not related to medicine. Representatives of this profession do not deal with the causes of the development and symptoms of mental disorders. They work with clients, not patients. A psychologist helps to become emotionally stronger, choose a profession that suits one’s abilities, find common ground with specific people, such as relatives or colleagues. A professional provides support in stressful situations and offers recommendations on how to cope with divorce, violence, or incurable diseases.

A psychotherapist can be associated with any of the previous specialties. They deal with the treatment of disorders that are not extremely severe. Such conditions are not always classified as diseases. Phobias or depression, for instance, become objects of attention here. In their work, the specialist affects the psyche through conversations of a special nature, hypnosis, and various techniques.

In summary, the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychotherapist or psychologist is evident. The former works solely in the medical field, using various means, including special medications, for treatment. A psychotherapist helps eliminate conditions that may not be diseases. Their tool is words, but other methods are also practiced. A psychologist’s competence includes working with healthy individuals. They are not a doctor but solely a humanitarian.