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Psychology
and Psychiatry

 

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Page Contents: Psychiatry / Psychology / What about Psychoanalysis?

 

 
MANY persons are confused about the difference between psychiatry and psychology. The following discussion, therefore, offers an objective, concise, and simply-stated description of the difference.

 
Psychiatry

A psychiatrist has attended medical school and is a physician and therefore holds an M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) degree. In residency, he or she received specialized training in the field of psychiatry, in addition to all the rigorous training of medical school in general. Moreover, just like other fields of medical practice such as internal medicine, psychiatry tends to focus mainly on the use of medications for treatment. Although psychiatric training may require some training in psychotherapy, psychiatrists are not required to complete any personal psychotherapy. Nevertheless, many psychiatrists have, for personal reasons, pursued training in psychotherapy. Historically, this training has most often been in the area of psychoanalysis.

 
Psychology

A psychologist usually holds a doctoral degree (a Ph.D., which means Doctor of Philosophy; a Psy.D., which means Doctor of Psychology; or an Ed.D., which means Doctor of Education) from a university or professional school. Generally, if he or she is in clinical practice, the degree will be in Clinical Psychology (although it might be in Counseling Psychology). With the exception of the Psy.D. (a purely clinical degree), all psychologists have had extensive training in research, having completed an original scientific study—called a doctoral dissertation—as a major part of the training.

In fact, the psychologist’s training in research is what most distinguishes a psychologist from other providers of mental health treatment. Not only does the field of psychology use research to assess the effectiveness of various forms of treatment, but also any psychologist trained in research should have acquired some solid skills useful for analyzing information and drawing conclusions in psychotherapy sessions.

Psychologists have also received training in psychological testing during the course of their graduate education in clinical psychology.

Moreover, in addition to their academic training, psychologists have usually completed one or more clinical internships (which provide practical training in diagnosis, assessment, and psychotherapy), and they will have experienced at least a year of required personal psychotherapy.

 
What about Psychoanalysis?

Although the current practice of both psychiatry and psychology has been deeply influenced by the theories of psychoanalysis, all three practices have separate roots.

As explained above, psychiatry has its roots in medicine. Psychology has its roots in the academic study of animal and human perception, and in the early part of the 20th century it was first applied clinically as an aid to education.

Psychoanalysis, both a theory of mental functioning and a specific type of treatment philosophy, was developed by Sigmund Freud Sigmund Freud in the early 1900s. Freud, a physician and a professor of medicine, developed his theories about psychoanalysis while studying cases of hysteria and compulsion neurosis. The basic premise of psychoanalysis is that most psychological symptoms are the result of our unconsciously avoiding many of the unpleasant truths about ourselves. Through a detailed “psycho” analysis (i.e., analysis of our thought process and mental images) we come to learn just how we consistently manage to lie to and deceive ourselves. The idea behind this treatment philosophy is that persons who have come to understand their own deceptions can then manage to avoid being controlled by them.

 
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A description of the clinical procedures of psychoanalysis can be found
on the Types of Psychological Treatment page.

 
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To become a psychoanalyst, a person must study and receive supervised training at a psychoanalytic institute. For many years, only psychiatrists were allowed admission to psychoanalytic training institutes, and psychoanalysis was the preferred treatment modality used by psychiatrists practicing psychotherapy. Today, however, psychologists—as well as some social workers and even lay persons—can get admission to psychoanalytic training.

Anyone who goes through the training to become a psychoanalyst must complete a thorough personal psychoanalytic treatment as well. Moreover, some psychologists who do not choose to pursue psychoanalytic training still choose a personal psychoanalysis as a way to prepare for being better able to serve their patients.

 
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Additional Resources

Psychiatry:
The American Psychiatric Association  represents all member psychiatrists, and its site provides extensive information about psychiatry.
The Medical Board of California  oversees licensing of physicians in CA.
 
Psychoanalysis:
Academy for the Study of the Psychoanalytic Arts  —“To advance the study of psychoanalytic epistemology, theory, practice, ethics, and education within a psychological framework consisting of philosophy, the arts, and the anthropic sciences as opposed to biology, medicine, and the natural sciences.”
The American Psychoanalytic Association  represents all member psychoanalysts.
The Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis  in the San Francisco Bay area, offers training in Lacanian psychoanalysis.
Psychoanalysis  by Wolfgang Albrecht, in Berlin; provides links to pages with information related to Psychoanalysis.
The Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California  offers psychoanalytic training.
The San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute  is a psychoanalytic training institute in San Francisco.
The San Francisco Society for Lacanian Studies  provides lectures and information about Lacanian psychoanalysis.
Lacan Related Papers  provides links to numerous Lacan-related papers.
Lacanian Links  provides links to Lacanian sites and is an extensive resource for Lacanian articles and papers.
 
Psychology:
Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards  —Roster for US and Canada.
The California Board of Psychology  oversees licensing of psychologists in CA.
The California Psychological Association Accrediting Agency  provides information about continuing education for psychologists in CA.
Divisions of the American Psychological Association  lists the various divisions of the APA and will give you an idea of the many varied applications of psychology.
 
History of Psychology:
Classics in the History of Psychology
History of Clinical Psychology
History of Psychology Archives
 
Related pages within A Guide to Psychology and its Practice:
How To Become a Psychologist
Psychological Testing
Psychology: Clinical or Counseling or...?
Questions and Answers about Psychotherapy
To Become a Psychologist
Types of Psychological Treatment
 
CONTACT ME
 
INDEX of all subjects on this website
 
SEARCH this website

 



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Raymond Lloyd Richmond, Ph.D.
San Francisco
 
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Psychology is a complex subject, and many issues are interrelated. And so, even though you may find a topic of interest on one particular page, an exploration of the other pages will deepen your understanding of the human mind and heart.

Psychological Practice
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his is a FREEWILL WEBSITE with NO ADVERTISING. If you find this page to be informative and helpful, please send a donation to this website in gratitude, as a “down-payment” on the success of your hopes!

 

 
 

Throughout this website, my goal is simply to help you realize that although life can be painful, unfair, and brutal, it doesn’t have to be misery.
 
The practice of good clinical psychology involves something—call it comfort—which does not mean sympathy or soothing, and it certainly doesn’t mean to have your pain “taken away.” It really means to be urged on to take up the cup of your destiny, with courage and honesty.

 

 

 

 


 

A Guide to Psychology and its Practice

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Copyright © 1997-2014 Raymond Lloyd Richmond, Ph.D. All rights reserved.
San Francisco

 

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