Master Level Clinician vs Psychologist vs Psychiatrist

Printer-friendly version

does anyone know the difference

big difference

A psychiatrist is an M.D. and has the ability to prescribe drugs

A psychologist is a PhD who cannot prescribe drugs but has written a dissertation and has doctorate level credentials (an additional 2 years of schooling normally in a specialized discipline)

A Master Level Clinician is like a psychologist who gave up early on their schooling, doesn't have as specialized a discipline as a psychologist with a PhD, and likewise cannot prescribe drugs.

other differences may be...

A psychiatrist wears a bow tie and drives a Lexus
A psychologist wears a power tie and drives a volvo
A Masters Level Clinician wears a college sweatshirt and drives a prius

Katie Leone (

Writing is what you do when you put pen to paper, being an author is what you do when you bring words to life

You are aware that ...

Some Volvos are cheaper than Prius?
I have a dream regarding Prius but still not rich enough to get even used one. But had enough money to get new Volvo some 5+ years ago :-)


This is important since this is a fact that many are unaware of the difference between these three terms. Many consider psychiatrist and psychologist as the same. It might have cleared confusion among at least a few guys.

Master level clinician

Psychologist begin with a bachelora degree in pyschology, then they go through a masters program, where they learn about clinical practices, then its on to writing a doctorate thesis, working in the field.
A psychiatrist begins as a medical student and eventually takes courses to become a psychiatrist
A master level clinician is designated by their degree Social Worker or psychologist.
Of all thenm only a psychiatrist can prescribe medications.
To be a PSYCHOLOGIST there are other degrees from having a bachelors degree. Sociology, Human Service, Behavioral Science some will become community couselors with masters degree, some will opt to get their doctorate. But the common denominator is they all have to be licensed in most states to have clients.

Jill Micayla
Be kinder than necessary,Because everyone you meet
Is fighting some kind of battle.

It's simple, really:

A psychiatrist has a medical degree and can prescribe, and is certified as qualified by a panel of their medical peers.
A psychologist has training (how much varies) in any of the various analytic, therapeutic and counselling disciplines. Is usually not a medical doctor.
A masters level clinician has amassed enough experience points as a thief-clinician that a dungeon master has awarded them the honorary title 'Horgath." And probably has a masters' degree in psychology, social work, or home economics.

Beverly Taff's picture

Yeah big differences

Psychiatrists are the ones who physically f--k you up with drugs, clincal therapies and invasive surgeries (Like lobotomy!!!). Avoid psychiatrists AT ALL COSTS.


The Palace, Sept 4th 1.jpg

Growing old gracefully? (I doubt it.)

Where was that picture taken?

I need to start planning my vacation to be able to visit all of the planned nice places before the Olympics rush...

Beverly Taff's picture

Location, location,location!

This piccie was taken at the top of 'Rhigos Mountain') 600 M in the pouring rain on Mon 7th may 2012. The climb is one of the components of 'The Dragon Race' and it's pretty tough climb. The ice-cream vendor was having a very quiet day so he was happy to take my piccie for the price of an ice-cream. (Yes I know, WTF! Ice-cream in the freezing wind and rain?) Well we Welsh are a bit daft like that and I'm amongst the daftest. The road is the Hirwaun to Treherbert road A4061.

Another piccie to show how rugged the climb is (for a bike!)

At Rhigos.jpeg

Hugs Bev. Enjoying an Ice-cream in the wind and rain!!!

The Palace, Sept 4th 1.jpg

Growing old gracefully? (I doubt it.)

Thanks for info :-)

Never actually been to Wales before. But don't expect me there on bicycle :-) it will be 200 miles drive for me to just get to the border :-)
Best possible thing in nasty and cold weather - icecream :-)
My personal best was outdoor icecream in -35C :-) It's quite a challenge as at such colds it sticks to your lips :-)

Cat Lochley's picture

Clinical psychologists can f--k you up too

A while back I did on-site support for a mental health organisation, the psychiatrists just wanted me to fix their computers, the clinical psychologists attempted to get inside my head while I fixed their computers. I always left their offices feeling used and occasionally abused, ever since I noticed the pattern I was on my guard around them.

From my PoV, a psychologist is interested in how the brain works, a psychiatrist is interested in fixing broken brains.


You can't choose your relatives but you can choose your family.

Having had

Sorry, Bev. I have to disagree with you! Having had a daughter who was clinically depressed - and contemplating suicide - the ability of the Psychiatrist to prescribe the right type / level of medication was a godsend. We got our daughter back!!! And look forward to getting her back off of the meds after I transition (the doc is ready for her to come off now, but her psychologist thinks coming off while I'm transitioning isn't the best idea in the world... We'll see.

So, no... Avoiding a Psychiatrist at all costs is NOT the right answer. The answer is to use them when necessary - for what they CAN help with.

But to the original question...

Between a Psychologist, a licensed social worker, etc... It all depends on why one might need one, and the experience of the individual in question. Their training and background are all different, making them suited for different things. For general chit chat, it may not make a whole lot of difference. But if you've specific issues, finding someone that works in that area - that you can work with - makes all the difference in the world.

And - if you're looking for one to work with, your self - keep in mind that the best ones will recognize if you've needs they're not suited to help you with, and will tell you. Beware of the ones that KNOW what's best for you!!! Those are the ones to be afraid of.


Renee M's picture


are others that can write scripts. They usually work for or with some kind of MD, but sometimes off by themselves in an area underserved by med facilities. They usually are nurses with lots of experience who've taken more med or psych education.

There are also Physician's Assistants, but I can't remember much about'em.....

Hugs and Bright Blessings,


PA's are a step below a General Practitioner in that they can diagnose and treat patients pretty much like a doctor. We had a PA as our senior medical person in the First Inf Div, Division Artillery HQ. We saw him if we got sent on Sick Call and it could not be attended to by the Medics. From what I understand they are qualified for minor surgical procedures (local anestheics - misspelled of course). Our PA had a specialization in Chiropractic care which was fine by me since I primarily went on Sick Call due to my back.

Back then they held Warrant Officer status but they were later upgraded to Commissioned Officer status just like Doctors and Nurses.

Edit to add: PA's are also probably a step ahead of a Nurse-Practitioner.


Others have already given you the technical distinctions. If you're looking for someone to prescribe hormones, you need an M.D. But not necessarily a psychiatrist. I have a family practice physician who is also an OB/GYN and specializes in helping people through transition. She has prescribed, monitored, and worked with me to suit my HRT to my personal needs. She did insist, though, before prescribing any actual hormones, that I be seeing a counselor of some kind regularly--not because she thought I was nuts, but because changing hormone levels can seriously f*** with your emotions (remember puberty?) and she wanted to be sure I had support in case I had problems with that.

If on the other hand you're just looking for that kind of support or help dealing with issues, ignore the degrees and ask around for referrals, meet prospective counselors, and go with one you really connect with. Studies have proven that the main factor in the success of a therapeutic relationship is the rapport between the counselor and the counseled; degrees and education seem to have relatively little influence on outcomes.

I do tend to agree that one should beware of psychiatrists. They, being equipped with hammers, tend to see all problems as various types of nails, so to speak. And the pharmaceutical industry sees to it that they are well supplied with hammers and goes to great lengths to educate them on how to spot those nails everywhere they look. Some problems really are nails. Most, contrary to Big Pharma propaganda, are not.

Syndicate content