Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine


Psychiatry vs. Psychology

Many people wonder what the difference is between a psychiatrist and a psychologist. Although there are many similarities - they are both well-trained, licensed professionals who are able to assess and provide treatment for a broad range of mental, emotional and behavioral illnesses - the main differences lie in their training and in the form of treatments they utilize.

Psychiatrists are physicians; they have graduated from medical school and received the same training any other physician, and they hold an MD or DO title. Additionally, they can prescribe medication or medical treatments (such as electroconvulsive therapy). A psychologist's therapy involves nonmedical treatments, such as counseling or cognitive-behavioral therapy. Although extensively educated (with a doctorate in psychology requiring five to seven years of schooling followed by an internship), psychologists have received their training not in medicine, but specifically in the field of psychology.

In addition to psychiatrists and psychologists, other mental health professionals may play an important part in psychiatric treatment. Read more about the multidisciplinary psychiatric treatment team available to assist with care at Houston Methodist Hospital.

At Houston Methodist Hospital, we know that the health of the mind is as important as the health of the body. Just as dysfunctions of the cardiovascular system can result in heart disease or high blood pressure, dysfunctions within the brain can result in mental or behavioral conditions. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), more than a quarter of adults in the United States have a diagnosable psychiatric illness in any given year. Thanks to increased public awareness and therapeutic advances, mental illnesses are now recognized as real medical conditions requiring professional treatment, much like diabetes or asthma.

Psychiatry Services at Houston Methodist Hospital provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary care in inpatient and outpatient settings. Inpatient services (those requiring a hospital stay) are available at Houston Methodist Hospital for the treatment of acute psychiatric conditions. All of our psychiatric care is delivered with a focus upon safety, privacy and compassion.

Our department also features the services of a clinical neuropsychologist for the treatment of cognitive issues related to brain injury, learning disorders or psychiatric conditions.

Please read on to learn more about the conditions we treat through individualized inpatient and outpatient care, and some of the diagnosis and treatment options available.

For more information on Houston Methodist Hospital’s Psychiatry Services, please call our Physician Referral & Health Information Line at 713-790-3333.