Something we get asked quite a lot!

A psychiatrist is a medically-qualified practitioner who will have first spent 5/6 years training as a doctor.

They will then have worked as a doctor for at least a year. Following that, the psychiatrist will then have had at least six years of further training in helping people with psychological problems.

What are a psychiatrist’s special skills?

All psychiatrists will learn how to:

  • assess a person’s state of mind
  • use the “biopsychosocial” model of understanding. This emphasises the importance of a person’s past experiences, family, culture, surroundings and work as well as any medical features.
  • diagnose a mental illness
  • use a range of psychological treatments
  • use a range of medications
  • help a person recover

As well as these ‘core’ skills, a psychiatrist will specialise and develop skills in working with the particular problems that affect different groups of people.


Psychologists have a degree in psychology. Chartered Clinical Psychologists are not usually medically-trained, but have undertaken a long and robust training following their psychology degree.

They are primarily concerned with the study of how people think, act, react and interact.


A psychotherapist may be a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health professional who has had further specialist training in psychotherapy.

As well as listening and discussing important issues with you, the psychotherapist can suggest strategies for resolving problems and, if necessary, help you to change your attitudes and behaviour.

A mental health team

The Mental Health Team is a group of mental health professionals who work together to help people with a wide range of mental health problems. The different professions all have different knowledge and skills which can be used to tackle problems together.

Our consultant psychiatrists can provide you with a full initial assessment, opinion, recommendations, suggested treatment plan and report diagnosis all within a few days of you being seen. Why wait?


The Psychiatry UK Team