Psychiatrist or a Psychologist?


New Member
psychiatrists manage medications; assign dxs, masta. psychologists do the talk therapy. the good ones are in a good relationship with-a psychiatrist or will at the very least keep the psychiatrist apprised of their findings & progress.

hope this helps.



Well-Known Member
Hi Masta,

I'm adding to Kris's response by agreeing with the relationship between the therapist and the psychiatrist. The two working together is important and often the therapist picks up on something and relays it to psychiatrist since usually those psychiatrist appts are really short and the therapist ones are usually an hour. Additionally, in the past our therapist has done some of the testing for difficult child and sent everything to the psychiatrist.



Active Member
OK, I think there is sufficient similarity between our countries... a psychiatrist is a medical doctor first, then he specialises, just like a heart specialist or a dermatologist does a basic medical degree first (and all the other stuff associated with it, including some level of medical practice).

A psychologist does a different degree course. It's not a medical degree, it's usually a degree in psychology, or in science with a psychology major. Increasingly there are specific courses to complete to qualify to be a psychologist.

Both also have to undergo accreditation and peer assessment, to ensure they can actually DO what they have trained for.

In Australia until last November, we couldn't claim on Medicare for a psychologist but we could for a psychiatrist (like we could for any medical specialist). Now we can claim some psychologist expenses too, under strict conditions.



Well-Known Member
It depends. The psychiatrist may BOTH diagnose and offer medication. I prefer this since a Psychiatrist has an MD. A psycologist has no MD and is more into talk therapy. I actually prefer a psychitrist who doesn't rely on a Psycologist, and won't go to one who does. I personally don't feel talk therapy is useful until the person is stable on medications. I also prefer an MD to do the diagnosing, unless it's a Neurological disorder. Then I prefer a neuropsychologist (a psycologist with knowledge of Neurology). Sound confusing? It is. I have what has been called bipolar II and many neurological problems. Throughout my life I've seen Psychiatrists and Psycologists, sometimes, when in the hospital, against my will. I'm stable now. Through all my experiences, I GREATLY, greatly, greatly etc. prefer Psychiatrists to psycologists, especially when first getting stable. The only Psycologist I really loved and felt helped me did Cognitive Behavioral Therapy rather than "talk about why I feel this way", which usually made me feel sorry for myself and worse and didn't teach me how to apply skills to every day life. I also have strange Neurological symptoms, and always have, so I've seen my share of Neurologists and NeuroPsychs--they all agree there is something wrong with the functioning of the right side of my brain--it has been called a Non-Verbal Learning Disability. As you see, no one professional can figure it all out if your child is complicated. You may need several. I think a Psychiatrist/neuropsychologist combo is the best. This is just my opinion, but it's from my experiences. I've personally liked a lot of the Psycologists I have seen; they just for the most part did not help me. Anyways, rant over. I'm sure you'll get many opinions :smile:


Active Member
It doesn't matter who or what, communication is always useful. So many problems result from poor communication or misunderstandings.

I've always felt, for good overall medical care (and I include dentists, chiropractors, psychologists etc in here too) that you need a gppd GP, someone you really get on with well, as the spider in the centre of your web. HE (or she) communicates with all the others, so anything you're told by a specialist, the GP has a handle on it as well and can help reinforce. It also helps prevent sometimes conflicting instructions or medications.

You can have not-great specialists, but a not-great GP is a disaster. A not-great specialist with a great GP - you'll do OK, your GP will refer you on if it's felt to be necessary. But the best specialists in the world, with a rotten GP - you're in trouble, because unless YOU step in and take detailed notes and communicate effectively with each one, they're still not going to be able to communicate with each other except through you. Not good.

And if you have specialists who talk to each other directly - great! If, for any reason, you don't get on with either of them or feel they're missing your needs, you can always move on from one or both. But good communication rarely leads to misunderstandings.

I wish more specialists would talk to each other about their mutual patients. it would save so much time and energy.



I have contacted my difficult children case worker to ask that my difficult child see a Psychiatrist and Psychologist.

MidwestMom: thanks for your input… my daughter has neuro problems both left and right hemisphere are damaged…she has impaired judgment too… so what you wrote helped me out allot. I have asked my difficult children case worker to get difficult child some Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (it was recommended years ago when difficult child has her first neuro evaluation.

Marguerite: I am an Aussie, from Western Sydney. Left Australia 8yrs ago .. went into hiding because of my ex. All of my kids are Aussies.

I remember how difficult it was to get decent mental health care there for kids back then. I took my difficult child to a pediatrician’s and hearing specialists when she was approx 6-8yrs to be told my parenting sucks and that there was nothing wrong with difficult child… ohhh.. there is something wrong with difficult child alright… hearing: Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD). Her mental health is a mess. When my difficult child started kindergarten I knew she was headed for trouble. I could tell way back then she was a handful and I knew when she hit her teens years I was in for a hard time with her.

Thank you all for your input...