Psychiatry vs. Therapy

With such a rise in the awareness of mental health, more and more facilities are providing these services for their patients and communities. The confusion of a psychiatrist versus a therapist also becomes more apparent amongst the public. At Greater Regional Health, there are psychiatry services provided but not therapy services.

A psychiatrist is a medical practitioner specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. There can also be nurse practitioners who provide psychiatry services, like Greater Regional Health’s LeeAnn Berg.

What does a psychiatric nurse practitioner do?

  • Their treatment approach focuses on prescribing medications for various mental illness (depression, anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia, ADHD, etc.)
  • They are able to assess, diagnose, and treat mental illness.
  • Psychiatric nurse practitioners may incorporate therapeutic techniques into sessions but is not trained in therapy/counseling.
  • Their treatment comes from a nursing background (nurse practitioners work as nurses prior to obtaining the degree).
  • Their appointments times (except for the initial appointment) are more concise and center around current symptoms and medication management.

A therapist is a person skilled in a certain kind of therapy, and in this case, someone who treats psychological problems with therapy.

What does a therapist do?

  • Treatment approach is focused on utilizing talk therapy and various techniques to improve symptoms related to current or past life stressors.
  • They do not prescribe medications.
  • Therapists provide ways to help the patient develop and implement interventions to handle stress, understand behavior, and improve thought processes and emotional responses.
  • They hold longer appointment times to discuss issues in depth.

If you do schedule an appointment with a psychiatrist, they can always refer you to a therapist if that is the route you would like to take.

To make an appointment with psychiatrist, Dr. Mark Preston or psychiatric nurse practitioner, LeeAnn Berg, call the clinic at (641) 782-2131. Dr. Preston sees patients 18 years old and up while LeeAnn see patients 5 years old and up.