I have tried to put more understandable words to various common terms in the psychological (and psychiatric) world.
Family Therapy is a type of therapy that focuses on the family as the "patient". Usually the whole family comes to each appointment. Each family member works on their contribution to the problems that the family is working on. The theory behind this approach considers each member of the family to have a role in the functioning of the family whether healthy or not, therefore when there are problems in the family, each member is considered to have contributed in some way. A good family therapist helps each member of the family to focus on their own contribution.Read more
The subspecialty of Geriatric Psychiatry is focused on older adults, usually starting around the age of 65 years old. As the body ages, its capacities change. The older adult of this age group responds differently to psychiatric medications, in addition to often being on a long list of medications for multiple other medical problems. This complex situation requires significant consideration and coordination when any new medication is added, for any reason.Read more
Marriage & Family Therapist (MFT)
MFTs are Marriage & Family Therapists. They have graduated from specialized training programs that include education on development, families, marriages, diagnosis, and different types of therapy. They have completed 3000 hours, at least, of supervised therapy.
Many fine therapists are MFTs. They often charge less than a psychiatrist or a psychologist.Read more
Psychiatry & Psychiatrists
Psychiatry includes many aspects of understanding and treating the problems of the mind, brain, and personality. Although psychiatry includes Psychology, it is not the same. Only doctors who have graduated from a medical school, M.D. or D.O., may prescribe medications and are called "doctors." Medical doctors with specialized training (residency) are called psychiatrists.Read more
Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy is psychotherapy which is based on many of the principles of psychoanalysis. It is less intense in its scope and practice, meaning that you meet less often with the therapist and the goals are usually more specific and focused. The intention in this kind of work is to look more intently into your own thinking, feelings, and behaviors in order to understand deeper meanings and motivations around these specific issues.Read more
There are many (greater than 20,000) kinds of psychological tests. Most are not used, or are only used in vary specific and limited situations.Read more
Psychology & Psychologists
Psychology refers to the general study of all that pertains to the mind and brain. Most psychologists have attended graduate school (not medical school) and usually have attained a Ph.D. or Psy.D. They also use the prefix of "doctor." The Ph.D or Psy.D means they have studied and trained beyond the level of a master's degree, usually including practical experience treating patients in psychotherapies of some kind. They have also received significant specialized training in psychological testing.Read more