I guess it would be appropriate to begin with who I am and why should you read this. Here goes, I am Yehudah E. Schochet and I obtained my Masters in Social Work from New York University, I am LMSW/LSW(Social Worker) in NYS and NJ. I am currently a psychotherapist in NY and NJ. I primarily see adolescents and couples, but do treat patients from all demographics. I decided to start this blog because whether family members or friends, I often get asked "so what do you actually do?" or "so what do you think about this, your a therapist right?" I think there is a lot of misinformation regarding the world of social work and psychology that people might think they know but really have no clue. This blog will hopefully enlighten some of you regarding treatment of those with psychiatric illness, interesting articles on mental health, how psychology is pretty much everywhere you look from sports, to politics, to TV and movies. Even though what i just wrote looks super boring. If you want to fill 5 minutes of your day at work when your bored (lets be honest folks...some of you are bored for at least 5 minutes a day) I promise to make it as easy and entertaining to read as possible. I will very often link articles, interviews with professionals and here and there some video posts. If you like what you read and think there is something missing. I will do my best to incorporate it into a blog.
The question I get the most is "What is the difference between a social worker, psychologist and a psychiatrist?"
The pay! I'm just kidding (No but seriously there is a difference). Here's the breakdown:
Psychiatrist: Nowadays psychiatrist, are Medical Doctors (M.D.) with a specialty in psychiatry. Much like an Oncologist. They have an MD and is specialized in cancer treatment. I specifically said "Nowadays" because back 20-30 years ago, psychiatrists would get additional training in talk therapy and psychotherapy techniques. Since the field of psychology and social work had risen most them became medication dispensers (kind of like a gum ball machine-you put a quarter in the machine and pop out a gum ball. In this case you put in $300 he pops out your drug of choice and see you when you don't feel happy or hyperactive again...Bon Voyage!). Don't get me wrong they are needed to dispense medication to those who need it.
Here's where it gets tricky...
Psychologist: There are two degrees given out in psychology: One: Ph.D. in Psychology and Two: Psy.D- Doctorate in Psychology. If you obtain a Ph.D. you have been in school for seven years and generally will have a focus on more intensified research curriculum. If you obtain a Psy.D. you have five years of school which will focus on clinical training in multiple disciplines of psychotherapy. Whether you are in a Ph.D. program or Psy. D. program they are taught to look at the individual and how they are effected by biological and environmental changes. They will also train in testing of all kinds. They tend not to work in social service settings, but can. Many if not in private practice work in academia and hospital settings.
Social Work: Social Worker will have two years of schooling before earning the MSW degree. We are trained to look at each individual in their environment(i.e. social and economic) . Not only look at what is going on with the particular person but external factors that contribute to how this person will or wont react to presenting problem. Social worker also tend to be the chameleons of the social service world. We are not only trained as psychotherapist, but we also will work with homeless, poverty stricken populations, as well as mental health issues in hospitals. With a certain amount experience a social worker can open up a private therapy practice, which they can bill insurances for. It is a field that is very flexible and allows anyone who has an MSW to do a lot of different things professionally. There are those who continue their education and obtain a Ph.D. in Social Work or D.S.W.-Doctorate of Social Work(not the shoe store) . One obtains these degrees to either teach in universities or research (or to be called Dr. c'mon be honest)
Ok, so really whats the real practical difference enough of my "Jibba Jabba"as mister T says:
Psychiatrist=Gum Ball Machines
Psychologist=Therapists and researchers.
Social Worker=Therapists and social service workhorses.
Psychologist and Social Workers will use the same principles in treatment, diagnosing, assessment. They both can diagnose, and they can both have private practices and bill insurance if they so choose.
I hope this helps...i promise it wont be as long next post.
Have a good day!!