chapter  2
14 Pages

Professional interventions: therapy and care

BySuman Fernando

Clearly the training of psychiatrists and psychologists are different, or at least have different emphases-the former a somatic bias and the latter a psychic bias-corresponding to the soma-psyche split inherent in Western thought. Both disciplines have an interest in behaviour and thought processes which are perceived as determining behaviour. However, both disciplines, being ‘scientific’, exclude from their considerations questions identified in Western thought as being religious or spiritual in nature. Not surprisingly, the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist from the point of view of

the general public (or more particularly the user of mental health services who is interested in what practitioners actually do) is very unclear. The difference may be seen largely in terms of power; the psychiatrist, for example, being the only professional who is able to prescribe medication as well as other treatments, to recommend compulsory removal to hospital and who is qualified to be designated as the Responsible Medical Officer under the Mental Health Act (Chapter 3).