What is the difference between a Psychiatrist and a Psychologist?
A Psychiatrist is a medically-qualified doctor who will have had an additional six years of specialist training to qualify as a Psychiatrist. Psychiatrists oversee a patient’s care and treatment plan, including medication management. A Psychiatrist can prescribe medication.
A Psychologist will have gained a degree in psychology at university before gaining further experience working in relevant healthcare settings. Psychologists engage a patient in various types of talking therapies. A Psychologist cannot prescribe medication.
Why do people see a psychiatrist?
Other than the diagnosis of a mental illness, you may need to see a Psychiatrist if:
- You do not feel that you are getting better under the care of your GP alone
- You would like a medication review (you may be on medication prescribed by your GP)
- Any time you need more than one psychiatric medication (generally)
- You think that you may have more than one diagnosis
- You disagree with your doctor’s diagnosis and treatment and would like a second opinion
- You are struggling to function on a daily basis (i.e. eating, sleeping, working, looking after yourself, etc.)
- You have thoughts of hurting yourself or others
- You cannot control your thoughts
- You would like to be referred for talking therapy
What can I expect from my first appointment?
Can I bring a family member, or a friend, to my consultation(s)?
Do I need to bring anything to my first appointment?
- Your current problems/issues
- The effect that they are having on your life
- A relevant timeline of events/symptoms
- Medical/psychiatric reports by other professionals
- The results of any medical/psychological tests
- A list of medication you are on, or have tried
- A list of any side-effects from current and previous medication
How long do the consultations last?
Follow-up reviews are approximately half-an-hour
Will I have to take medication?
Medication can be particularly beneficial for conditions such as ADHD, depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
If I feel that you would benefit from taking medication, I will discuss it with you at the appointment. I will explain why I have recommended a specific medication, the dose, how long you might need to take it for, and any possible side-effects or interactions.
If you have a history of poor response to medication, or frequent side-effects, I may recommend pharmacogenetic testing.
What is the follow-on process?
If I recommend taking therapy as part of your treatment plan, I will suggest a suitable therapist. It typically takes about a week from the appointment date to the referral for this information to be provided.
I will need to review you regularly to ascertain your response to treatment, whether it be medication, talking therapy, or a combination of the two. How often I need to see you will depend on your condition, and the medication/treatment that I have prescribed.
Will my health insurance cover my treatment?
What is the process for payment?
Can I be assured of confidentiality?
There are exceptions to this, which are guided by the General Medical Council. These exceptions involve situations where you may pose a serious risk/threat to yourself or others, or in the case of criminal investigations. For further information, please refer to the General Medical Council guidance.
Get in touch
If you have a query, or would like to book a consultation, please get in touch using the below form, by phone on +44 (0)208 392 4237, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org