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Wiltshire Psychology Service does not currently have any psychiatrists working within our practice.

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The following text provides some background information on psychiatry, and how it differs from psychology.

Modern Psychiatry

Psychiatry is a branch of medical science that deals with understanding, diagnosing and treating mental health difficulties. Our minds are as prone as our bodies to develop a condition that is treatable with medication.

When it comes to our minds, they can react to stress or adverse life experiences in a number of different ways. Examples include:

  • Depression;
  • Anxiety;
  • Eating Disorders;
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD);
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD);
  • Thought Disorders.

During the past few decades, Psychiatry and psychiatric medicine have advanced significantly. Thorough research has given psychiatrists a better and clearer understanding of the human brainís chemical systems, which become affected when one is under stress or dealing with constant unfavourable life events or circumstances. Psychiatry can help provide an understanding of how our systems have been affected and can inform a decision about whether or not medication may be helpful.


Psychiatric medications are well researched. They are specially designed to treat the mental health conditions that could limit a personís full potential. These psychiatric medications can be used alone, or combined with a course of therapy. Sometimes the medication will be used as a short-term boost that can help when psychological therapy is just starting. It can provide much-needed relief from some of the unpleasant feelings and symptoms associated with emotional difficulties. In some cases, however, psychiatric medication may be needed for a longer time.

The Difference between Psychiatrists and Psychologists


Psychiatry is a medical speciality, like general practice, surgery, orthopaedics or paediatrics. Psychiatrists are medically qualified doctors. Once qualified, they undergo extensive and vigorous training programmes for a number of years to be recognised as a Specialist by the General Medical Council (GMC).

Psychiatrists work with people of all ages, and with all mental health problems. They are able to undertake a thorough assessment, considering psychological and social factors, and contribute to a treatment plan that is tailored according to the needs of the individual.


A Psychologist will have gained an Honours degree in psychology at university. After gaining further experience working in relevant healthcare settings, Clinical Psychologists then undertake 3 years clinical training in an approved training scheme at university. During this time, and under supervision from experienced psychologists, they work with patients and study for an academic doctorate.

They are trained to work in both NHS and private settings using several models of psychological therapies including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Psychodynamic or Systemic therapy.

Please have a look at this Royal College of Psychiatrists page for more information on psychiatry.