"Psychologist" is an academic, occupational or professional title describing individuals who are either:
- social scientists conducting research or teaching psychology in a college or university;
- employed by the government in psychology positions;
- professionals who apply psychological findings and ideas to "real-world" problems, questions and issues, most typically in health care services or in business and industry.
There are many different types of psychologists, as is reflected by the 56 different divisions of the American Psychological Association (the APA). Psychologists are generally described as being either "applied" or "research" oriented. This major division is also described as the difference between scientists and practitioners or scholars and professionals. The training models endorsed by the APA require that practitioners be trained as both scholars and professionals and to possess advanced degrees. 
Most typically, people encounter psychologists and think of the discipline as involving the work of clinical or counseling psychologists, professionals who are concerned with helping people live healthy and productive lives - professionals who help people solve problems of living or resolve mental health problems. Although clinical psychology is a commonly identified professional role, it remains a subset of the field of psychology. Scholars and academicians (conducting research and teaching in universities) constitute a substantial and foundational position in the definition of a "psychologist."
Differences with psychiatrist[edit | edit source]
In most western countries - including the United States - licensed/registered psychologists hold a doctorate in their field, while licensed psychiatrists hold a medical degree with a specialty in psychiatry. Psychiatrists have earned an M.D., D.O. or MBBS doctoral level physicians degree, whereas psychologists have earned a doctoral degree Ph.D., Psy.D., or Ed.D. Psychiatrists are trained in psychotherapies but not to the extent that psychologists are educated. Some focus mostly on psychopharmacology, and these psychopharmacology visits may require shorter periods of contact time with clients/patients  Conversely, clinical and counseling psychologists generally rely upon psychological assessment and the use of psychotherapy to relieve psychological distress. It is not uncommon for people suffering from mental illness to combine these services to maximize their impact. A few Psychologists in the U.S. military and two states (New Mexico and Louisiana) have prescription privileges, combining psychosocial and psychopharmacological interventions. Many psychologists conduct research-based, standardized cognitive and projective testing to guide the diagnosis of intellectual disabilities, behavioral/mood disorders, and personality disorders; these test results also inform treatment approaches. Administration and interpretation of the majority of these standardized test instruments require specialized Doctoral level training in psychology.
See also[edit | edit source]
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