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What is a Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist anyway?

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialise in the disorders of mental health. Child and adolescent psychiatrists specialise in the assessment and treatment of young people’s emotional, cognitive and behavioural problems.


Many people are confused about the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist. Psychologists are trained, amongst other things, to do different types of talking therapies (e.g. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). They are also experts in doing structured psychological tests. Psychiatrists, on the other hand, may have less training in these areas, but having a medical background, they are best equipped to make decisions about medications and to understand how medical problems affect mental health (and vice versa). Psychiatrists and psychologists very often work together, and it is quite common for someone with mental illness to be seeing both a psychologist and a psychiatrist.