What is the Difference between Psychiatry and Psychology?

A Psychiatrist is a Medical Doctor with a specialty in mental health. These physicians are certified to assess and diagnose patients and authorized to prescribe medications to treat those diagnoses. Their work tends to be more clinical—they are trained to conduct physical exams, order and interpret laboratory tests, and monitor patients to make sure prescribed medications are having the desired effect.

The first appointment with a psychiatrist at Flagler Psychiatric is a detailed 60-minute evaluation which explores the patient’s medical and mental health history, as well as social, behavioral, academic and familial factors. Upon determination of a diagnosis, the physician and patient will work together to coordinate a treatment plan including medication management and, if necessary, a recommendation for additional therapies and accommodations.

Following the initial evaluation, patients are scheduled for a follow-up appointm

ent to assess the effectiveness of the treatment plan and medications. As medications are adjusted, patients are required to follow-up within 3-4 weeks to evaluate his or her progress. Once the patient is stable on his or her current medication regimen, follow-up appointments are typically spaced 2-3 months apart. Patients must be seen every 90 days in order to continue with treatment (per DEA and FDA regulations).

A Clinical Psychologist/ Therapist is a licensed professional who is qualified to offer counseling to patients. They often do this by integrating science, theory and clinical knowledge in order to assist the patient in understanding and relieving psychologically-based distress or dysfunction, with the aim of promoting behavioral and subjective well-being.

There are many kinds of therapists; at Flagler Psychiatric we have PhD and PsyD psychologists, as well as LCSWs (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) and LMHCs (Licensed Mental Health Counselors). Each of these professionals are trained to work with patients through a variety of methods of psychotherapy and counseling, and typically there are specific areas in which each provider specializes.


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