- Are one of several types of mental health care providers in Michigan.
- Diagnose, evaluate and treat emotional disorders, mental diseases, stress, anxiety, substance abuse and emotional components of physical diseases.
- Are uniquely qualified and trained to administer and interpret psychological tests, which provide information useful in diagnosing psychological problems and developing appropriate treatment plans.
- Work in a variety of settings, including but not limited to: private offices, inpatient facilities, medical hospitals, community mental health boards, universities, schools and the corrections system.
- Apply their knowledge and training to help resolve individual, family, group, organizational and societal problems.
- Often work with attorneys on legal problems with psychological dimensions, such as divorce, child custody questions, personal injury lawsuits, commitment proceedings and criminal charges.
The psychotherapy component of psychologists' training is significantly larger than the same component in the training of all other mental health care providers, including psychiatrists.
Members of the American Psychological Association, of which the Michigan Psychological Association is an affiliate, are bound by strict ethical guidelines that are enforced by the state association. State and Federal laws protect confidentiality, medical records, and information.
Qualifications of Psychologists in Michigan:
The State of Michigan issues a license to individuals to practice as psychologists, who are independent healthcare providers. To be a Fully Licensed Psychologist (independent practice) the following requirements must be met:
- The person must attain a doctoral degree in psychology. Required coursework deals with knowledge about general human behavior, as well as abnormal and dysfunctional behavior. The person must understand the biological, social and cognitive bases of human behavior as well as cultural, family, gender and individual differences.
- The person must complete one to one-and-one-half years of closely supervised clinical work prior to completion of the doctorate as a practitioner and intern student. This clinical experience must be acceptable both to the clinical site and to the university to qualify as part of the training.
- The person must pass a standard National Examination that evaluates the individual's knowledge of key areas related to what an independent practicing psychologist needs to know.
- After completing all of the above the person must complete 2,000 hours of post-degree supervised experience in no more than two consecutive years.
On average, the training and experience required for the Full License in Michigan take about seven to nine years after finishing college.
A Limited License Psychologist is an individual who:
- Holds a Masters degree in psychology
- Or is working towards full licensure.
Under the law, this person must practice only under the supervision of a fully licensed psychologist.
HOW DO PSYCHIATRISTS AND PSYCHOLOGISTS PRACTICE DIFFERENTLY?
Both have approximately same years of training, but the method of training vastly different.
Psychiatrists, due to broad knowledge of medicine, usually prescribe medication for mental health disorders; increasing national shortage of psychiatrists and has restricted their ability to do anything but practice medicine; most psychiatrists focus on mental health treatment via medication vs. individual and group therapy
Psychologists due to broad knowledge of how the mind and environment work, tend to conduct psychotherapy, testing (neurological and functional), reinforce functional capacities of the individual. Most psychologists focus on mental health therapy; in some states, psychologists with specialized training legally prescribe medication “within the scope of practice,” i.e. to treat mental health disorders