What is the Difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?
A psychologist and a psychiatrist are often confused as having the same meaning. While both study the brain, emotions, feelings and thoughts, there is a distinct difference between the two fields of study.
Psychiatrists begin their careers in medical school and then go on to four years of residency training typically at a hospital’s psychiatric department.
Psychologists go through five to seven years of academic graduate study and hands-on clinical training, culminating in a doctorate degree.
As medical doctors, psychiatrists can prescribe drugs, whilst psychologists cannot.
What is Psychotherapy?
Some people refer to psychotherapy as “talking treatment” because it is generally based on an individual talking to a therapist. However, psychotherapy is much more than talking about your problems. A trained psychotherapist will help you to tackle a specific or general problem by giving you the tools to be able to cope more effectively. In psychotherapy, therapists apply scientifically validated procedures to help people develop healthier, more effective habits. There are many different professionals that practice psychotherapy such as; clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, counsellors, marriage and family therapists and social workers.
Psychotherapy is a professional relationship between a therapist and a client. Psychotherapists are trained to understand what you say and how you say it. They pay close attention to body language, voice tone and content to fully understand what you are trying to say.
While family or friends can help you feel better or even provide good advice for change, this is not psychotherapy. You can tell therapists things without having to worry about your information being told to others or in any way affecting your job, family or relationships.
How Does Psychotherapy Work?
Psychotherapy provides a supportive environment that allows you to talk openly with someone who is objective, neutral and nonjudgmental. You and your therapist will work together to identify and change the thought and behavior patterns that are keeping you from feeling your best.
By the time you’re done, you will not only have solved the problem that brought you in, but you will have learned new skills so you can better cope with whatever challenges arise in the future.
The way in which our psychologists and counsellors will work with you will depend in part on what you seek from psychotherapy, how you understand your difficulties, available support, and any time-constraints you have. We believe that the relationship between the therapist and the client should be a collaborative one, in which we both work together to come to an agreement on the goals and focus of therapy.
How Many Sessions Will I Need?
How long any treatment lasts depends on a number of factors; it may be as short as a few sessions or continue for a few years. When you begin therapy, an initial assessment will take place. From this assessment your psychologist will be able to give you a rough idea of the duration of your treatment. Our psychologists and counsellors generally provide sessions once or twice a week depending on clients’ need and preference. Sessions take place at the same place and time each week and typically last 60 minutes unless you and your psychologist have a different arrangement.
Is What I Talk About Confidential?
Central Minds will respect your privacy fully. Everything you say in session is bound by confidentiality. Our psychologists will not disclose anything that you say, or even that you are attending therapy, to others without having discussed it with you and gained your verbal and written consent.
Psychologists’ and counsellors will only break confidentiality and disclose information without your consent in the event that it is required by law, or you are in danger of hurting yourself or someone else, or if there is any suspicion of child or elder adult abuse.
Central Minds Ltd.
8th & 10th Floor VC House, 4-6 On Lan Street, Central, Hong Kong