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Who Will be Involved in My Care?

Depending on your needs as a patient, you may work with psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners, case management specialists and social workers to coordinate care.

What is the Difference Between a Psychiatrist and Psychologist?

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (completed medical school and residency) with special training in psychiatry. A psychiatrist is able to conduct psychotherapy and prescribe medications and other medical treatments. Psychiatrists often prescribe medications in combination with psychotherapy.

A psychologist or therapist usually has an advanced degree, most commonly in clinical psychology, and often has extensive training in research or clinical practice. Psychologists treat mental disorders with psychotherapy and some specialize in psychological testing and evaluation.

Diagnosing Patients

As physicians, psychiatrists can order or perform a full range of medical laboratory and psychological tests which, when combined with discussions with patients, help provide a picture of a patient's physical and mental state. Their education and clinical training equip them to understand the complex relationship between emotional and other medical illnesses and their relationship to genetics and family history. Evaluating medical and psychological data, to make a diagnosis, and to work with patients to develop treatment plans.

What is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner?

Psychiatric Mental Health Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (PMH-APRN) serve the psychiatric-mental health population. Advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) earn master’s or doctoral degrees in psychiatric-mental health nursing. APRNs practice as Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs) or Nurse Practitioners (NPs) to assess, diagnose, and treat individuals with psychiatric disorders or the potential for such disorders, using their full scope of therapeutic skills, including the prescription of medication and the administration of psychotherapy.

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