Psychology vs. Psychiatry: What's the difference?


This post is the second one in the series: Psychology & ____: What's the difference? In the first post, I wrote about the difference between psychology and sociology. Here I will discuss the difference between psychology and psychiatry.

Below is a comparison between psychology and psychiatry: 


Psychology is the study of the human mind and its functions, especially regarding behaviors.* Psychology focuses more on the individual, rather than a group or culture of people. When the mind is studied it is in the context of the biopsychosocial context of the individual. 

Psychiatry the study and treatment of mental illness, emotional disturbance, and abnormal behavior.* Psychiatry focuses more on the medical side of mental health. Psychiatrists can prescribe medications. 

What they research

Psychologists will research individuals to learn more about human thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and functioning. When they are helping individuals with their mental disorder, they help the client talk through the problem using psychotherapy. Psychologists can refer clients to a psychiatrist to seek further support if medication is a option.

Psychiatrist research neurobiology and neurochemistry. They focus more on the science of the brain. Psychiatrists prescribe medication, but they can also do talk therapy with clients as well. 

Undergraduate College Courses

A psychology major will have classes such as statistics, abnormal psychology, human growth and development, child development, and multicultural psychology. 

A psychiatry student will study psychology or pre-med in undergrad. If a student chooses a pre-med major, they will study chemistry, biology, math, statistics, and physics. 

Graduate Majors

Some psychology majors students can study in graduate school include: 

  • Child Life, M.S.
  • Clinical Psychology (Psy.D)
  • Clinical Psychology: Marriage and Family Therapy
  • College Counseling
  • Counseling Psychology 
  • School Counseling 

Some psychiatry majors students can study in graduate school include:

  • Doctor of Medicine (MD)
  • Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO)**


Careers in psychology:

  • Mental Health Therapist
  • College Professor
  • Researcher
  • Sports Psychologist
  • Organizational Psychologists
  • School counselor
  • School psychologists
  • Career Counselor
  • and many more!

Careers in psychiatry

  • Psychiatrist ***
    • Child and Adolescent
    • Geriatric
    • Forensic
    • Administrative
    • Addiction
    • Disability
    • Emergency
  • and many more!

I hope that you find this information helpful! What other area of study should I compare next? 

I know that you are going to do great things!

* Oxford dictionary



Post a Comment