Psychiatrists are licensed medical doctors who specialize in mental health conditions. After completing medical school, they must undergo another four years of specialized training in psychiatry. A psychiatrist can write prescriptions, help manage and monitor your medication, and administer psychotherapy.
Psychologists are not physicians. They specialize in talk therapy and cannot administer prescriptions. They hold doctoral degrees (Ph.D.) in psychology, the science of behavior, thoughts, and emotions. After getting their degrees, they must go through specialized training, licensing, and certification before treating patients.
Social workers must have a master’s degree in order to provide talk therapy. They are trained to help individuals cope with situations and environments. Even though social workers tend to go through less schooling than psychologists and psychiatrists, a recent survey shows that people who sought out talk therapy for depression saw just as much improvement in their symptoms, regardless of whether they saw a social worker or psychologist.