What is the Difference Between a Psychiatrist and a Psychologist?
A psychiatrist is a licensed medical doctor who specialises in identifying the symptoms of, and diagnosing and treating, mental illnesses. They are also able to prescribe medication if needed. You may have been referred to a psychiatrist if your doctor feels you need specialist help. The Anxiety New Zealand Trust has a GP with a MOSS Psychiatric specialty, Dr Henry Plant.
Dr. Henry Plant, MBChB – specialist GP, joined the Anxiety New Zealand Trust in December 1997. He has been in the field of psychiatry for the twenty years and takes a holistic view of mental distress. In addition to addressing the biological aspects of anxiety, phobias and depression he emphasises the importance of staying emotionally and physically healthy.
Dr. Plant’s particular interest is in helping people to understand how feelings related to grief, sadness, anger and conflict can underpin anxiety, and therapy is much enhanced if they can learn to be comfortable with those feelings.
A psychologist is not a doctor, but has completed a course in the scientific study of the mind and its activities. They are able to assess and test for mental disorders, but do not prescribe medication. Psychologists offer psychotherapy, or ‘talking cures’, for mental disorders. At the Anxiety New Zealand Trust psychologists offer Cognitive-Behavioural Therapies, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Family/Systems Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and a range of other therapies which are used in accordance with the needs and age of the client. Therapeutic workshops and support groups for clients are offered as well as support groups for family and whanau.