How is a psychologist different from a psychoanalyst? How do we define “psychotherapy?” How do we define “therapy?”
The answer to all of these questions is that psychologists and psychiatrists have different terms. Psychology is the collection of the ideas, terms, and practices that are used to define human behavior and its relation to the world. Psychiatrists have one label, diagnostic labels which have been given from their day-to-day work and not from the perspective of therapeutic theory or practice. (As an alternative to the term therapist, the word “psychiatrist,” which was in use as a synonym for psychologist throughout the early 20th Century, has been replaced by the less negative-sounding “psychotherapist.”) The terms and practice of psychology are constantly changing, so it’s not reasonable to pretend that there is one clear definition for each of the practices or categories of psychology. Nevertheless, I have chosen some of my favorites from the vast array, which will serve as examples of this post.
The three major types of behavioral scientists are Clinical Psychologists, Epidemiologists, and Psychodynamic Analysts. In some contexts, the term behavioral scientist may apply just to psychologists. However, in other contexts, it can apply not just to psychologists but to all psychologists.
Clinical Psychologist: the person who treats patients according to a professional judgment
Therapeutic Psychologist: someone who uses and evaluates scientific evidence to solve their patients’ problems
Ethnographer: anyone researching a subject who does not specialize in a particular field; they may have experience as a researcher in a similar field
Empirical Psychologist: anyone who studies the behavior of others to study human behavior (the use of techniques like regression theory, personality psychology, and behavior analysis)
This post will be more specific to two of these: Clinical Psychologists, and Ethical Psychology.
The term therapeutic refers to psychologists treating those who suffer from psychological problems
We use the term “therapeutic psychology” to describe a type of behavior analysis that examines the mental or emotional states of people to understand if they have problems. Psychologists study people with psychiatric health problems for several reasons:
People in treatment can provide valuable information about the mental illness, and in some cases it is possible to treat the illness without resorting to medication. Many people have been treated poorly in medical settings, and if a doctor were to prescribe medication, we would know that. Psych
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