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Old 11.12.2020, 02:52
doropfiz doropfiz is offline
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Re: Psychotherapy, what it is and how to get it

Qualifications

Psychiatrist
To become a medical doctor, one studies medicine at university, and in senior years does a range of practical training blocks in several hospitals. There is a set of major final exams at the end, which qualify one to be called a doctor (in German, Arzt).

Some doctors stop at that level (which takes 6 years to achieve) and work in hospitals, drop-in clinics (for example, at a railway station, for non-life-threating emergencies) or in the kind of doctor's practice which is staffed by a range of doctors. There, they work as general practitioners (called GP, and in German, Hausarzt).

Others go on to do a specialisation. They do this with yet more blocks of training, but then specifically in their field. They participate in workshops and have guidance by senior doctors in that area. They also write a doctoral thesis for which they must have done independent research, and must successfully defend that thesis (put the case, withstand contrary opinions, explain their arguments against the criticism) to a panel of internal and/or external examiners.

There is even a specialisation to become a GP, i.e. in more detail, on a higher level. Other specialisations include all the medical ones like cardiologist and gynaecologist, etc., and one of these is a psychiatrist.


Psychologist
To become a psychologist, one studies at university, a degree in humanities or in social sciences, or science, with the subject Psychology as one's major. This is first a Bachelor's degree, and thereafter a Masters.

Some continue to do a Doctorate, in which they, too, write a doctoral thesis for which they must have done independent research, and must successfully defend that thesis, etc. (as set out above, for the medical doctors).

Depending on the branch of psychology, one can do more or less of certain kinds of practial training, with supervision. Industrial psychology (about persuasion and mediation in business settings, and advertising) will need a different kind of training than clinical psychology (listening to people talk).

A psychologist is not a medical doctor. This is relevant in these ways:
  • without the medical training, a psychologist may inadvertently overlook a physical ailment from which the patient is suffering, and that influences the patient's psychological state
  • a psychologist has no authority to prescribe medication, at all
  • psychologists typically earn significantly less than psychiatrists
  • the Swiss medical insurance generally pays only a reduced proportion of the fees of a psycholgist, or only for a certain limited number of appointments per year. (This can be circumvented if a psychologist works under the authority of a psychiatrist... this is called "delegiert" in German.)
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