When looking for help one question you are likely to ask is about the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist. This indeed is a very important distinction to make: to become a psychiatrist the professional must first obtain a medical degree after which they must pursue further specialization to become a psychiatrist. When you’re family doctor refers you to see the psychiatrist is usually because he or she is looking for clarification regarding the type of medication that you are taking or that you could be taking. The psychiatrist will send your physician the report that will include a diagnosis if one is needed as well as recommendations as to what type of medication and dose you need. Psychiatrists usually do not will treat you with any psychotherapy modality.
On the other hand, a psychologist is someone who finished a PhD in psychology followed by specialized training and accreditation. Psychologists will also provide you with a diagnosis, which is often based not only on the clinical interview but on psychometric testing as well. Psychologists will follow their recommendations with specific psychotherapeutic treatment and behavioural modification strategies aimed at reestablishing your previous level of psychological functioning.
In both cases, your family doctor represents the centrepiece in your plan towards recovery in both psychologists and psychiatrists will work closely with him/her in order to make sure that you receive the type of treatment that has the best chances of improving your functionality.