How does psychiatric medication and therapy treatment work together?

First let’s begin with the difference between psychiatry and psychology, as it can be confusing! Professionals in psychiatry and psychology are both experts in mental health – their area of expertise is the brain — and the way it affects behavior and well-being. They often work together to prevent, diagnose, and treat mental health conditions and illnesses. The difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist is in the way they focus their treatment.
Psychologists typically obtain an education in how guiding a discussion with a patient about their thoughts, experiences, emotions, and behaviors can affect their emotional health and wellbeing. Psychologists, and other types of talk therapists (including some Social Workers, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists) use various methods of discussion and exploration to improve someone’s symptoms. Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is a way to help people with a broad variety of mental illnesses and emotional difficulties. Psychotherapy can help eliminate or control troubling symptoms so a person can function better and can increase well-being and healing.

While psychiatrists often also receive training and practice psychotherapy, psychiatrists go to medical school and prescribe medications to treat mental health disorders. Psychiatry is the branch of medicine focused on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental, emotional and behavioral disorders. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (an M.D. or D.O.) who specializes in mental health, and psychiatrists are qualified to assess both the mental and physical aspects of psychological problems and can prescribe medication to treat.

At Remedy, for optimal mental health, we wholeheartedly believe in:

  1. Lifestyle changes first (including a healthy whole foods diet, limited substances, exercise, limiting stress)
  2. Psychotherapy, or ‘talk therapy’ (of which there are many different types of therapy and qualified therapists)
  3. And as a final part of the treatment plan when appropriate: medication. Medication can be prescribed by medical doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. While medical doctors can prescribe independently, nurse practitioners and physician assistants prescribe under the supervision of a medical doctor. At Remedy, our team includes highly skilled and experienced psychiatric nurse practitioners, under the supervision of a medical doctor, a psychiatrist.

While we encourage all of our patients to pursue therapy, we aim to provide very affordable care and therefore keep our costs to patients low by only focusing on the psychiatric medication management piece, not the talk therapy piece. We have highly skilled therapy referrals that we can refer our patients to. And, with patient permission, we will work very closely with a patient’s therapist to have a collaborative team in place to provide the best care to the patient. Below is an example of collaboration from one of our therapist partners, Perri!

” I referred both clients and personal friends to Remedy during this past year and every person I referred to the practice came back with rave reviews. Everyone reported it was easy to make an appointment, felt understood and connected to their prescribing clinician, which isn’t always easy over telehealth, and felt the service was affordable (another hard thing to come by). I just wanted to let you know and thank you for offering this as an option to people really in need during this time.”

–  Perri Sun, LCSW, Therapist, Los Angeles


If you or someone you know is still struggling in their day to day after a healthy lifestyle and therapy, medication may help. Come see us for a 50-minute comprehensive psychiatric evaluation, get started within a day and enjoy continued ongoing care via video, messaging and research-backed monthly symptom tracking.

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