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Psychiatrist vs Therapist taking notes during man's therapy session

The Differences Between a Psychiatrist vs. Therapist

Psychiatrist vs. Therapist

When you begin treatment for an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you might work with a psychiatrist and a therapist to address your specific addiction or mental health treatment needs. There are differences between a psychiatrist vs. therapist. A psychiatrist is a doctor that is focused on treating your symptoms with medication, and they are able to write prescriptions for you. A therapist generally holds a Master’s degree, and they are going to work with you on a treatment plan to address mental health needs and your recovery process. Both are integral to your healing while in recovery, but there are different ways that each will support your healing.

Working with a Psychiatrist

You will begin to understand the difference between a psychiatrist vs. therapist when you start to work with a psychiatrist to deal with your symptoms. Whether you are just going through drug and alcohol detox and feeling depressed or anxious, or you have an underlying mental health need, a psychiatrist is there to figure out what might help for medication. When you meet with a psychiatrist, it is beneficial to:

  • Be honest about how you are feeling, especially if you are severely depressed or suicidal
  • Take medication as prescribed and report any changes to your mood
  • Allow your psychiatrist and therapist to communicate regarding your treatment to help you succeed
  • Listen to what your psychiatrist is telling you about potential side effects
  • Consider your options when you are being offered medication to deal with your mental health

You might meet with a psychiatrist for an hour during an initial consultation, but follow-up visits are generally much shorter and less frequent. You will be asked about any new symptoms, and your psychiatrist will look for reasons to optimize your medication. A psychiatrist is a physician that deals with mental health needs and prescribing medication for those needs. When you see a psychiatrist vs. therapist, you get medication support.

Working with a Therapist

If you have worked with a therapist in the past, then you understand they might refer you to a psychiatrist if you are struggling with mental health needs for prescription medication support. When you begin seeing a therapist, you will work with your therapist on a more regular basis. Sessions will generally last the same amount of time every session. Your therapist will work with you on your addiction and recovery while trying to help you learn relapse prevention strategies. When you meet with a therapist, you might:

  • Discuss new coping skills that you might like to try
  • Talk about your options when it comes to meeting with a psychiatrist
  • Address the reasons behind your substance abuse and your recovery goals
  • Identify your strengths and write a treatment plan
  • Begin to discuss past trauma or other hurdles to your recovery

The differences between a psychiatrist vs. therapist are clear once you realize the role both can play in your life while you are working on a recovery program. Your psychiatrist will address mental health needs and figure out ways to support your mental health with medication. Your therapist will work with you to change thought patterns, improve stress responses, and identify goals. Both people are an integral part of your recovery and can make long-term sobriety an obtainable goal. With the right help in place, you can heal from an addiction. Find the support you need and be honest in your interactions.

Getting the Help You Need

Addiction does not have to take over your life any longer. If you are trying to break free from an addiction, contact The Ranch at 1.844.876.7680 and start your journey of recovery now. You can stop an addiction, but you have to make the decision to reach out for help.

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