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Thread: What does a psychologist actually do?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2019

    What does a psychologist actually do?

    I know a lotta folk get confused between the words psychiatrist and psychologist.

    Psychologists can't prescribe medications.

    Are they therapists? Are they able to do CBT, DBT, ACT and all the other types of therapy availability these days?

    The reason I ask is because a guy's employer sent him straight to a psychologist who referred him to some cranky sounding eye movement therapy.

    Is the psychologists role just to diagnose? Maybe it depends on what country your in

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Re: What does a psychologist actually do?

    Ive not seen a psychologist, but they differ from psychiatrists as they aren't medical doctors. My understanding is that they are trained in various theories of psychology, and can diagnose. Some offer therapy too. The cranky sounding eye movement therapy is probably EMDR for processing trauma. Again I've not had it but I think it's supposed to be quite effective.
    'If you're going through hell, keep going' (Winston Churchill)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Re: What does a psychologist actually do?

    The 'cranky looking eye movement' thing you refer to might be EMDR, which is proven and successful.

    The word 'psychologist' covers many bases and if a psychologist sees a patient that they believe needs more specialist treatment then it's likely that they'll be referred to an alternative person. There are many forms of psychologist, but they are all capable of actual treatment too, if they see fit.

    I think it's quite common for therapies to appear 'cranky', but the reality is that most of them are relatively simple techniques to distract and rewire the brain away from bad anxiety habits. The psychologist or therapists job is to assist the patient in perfecting those skills to use by themselves. It's not like handing out a does of antibiotics, therapy is always a two way street, the main responsibility being on the patient.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2019

    Re: What does a psychologist actually do?

    Thanks Swan and Joe

    So a psychologist is also a therapist. That's really what I wanted to know.


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