Important to know

choosing the right specialist


A psychiatrist is a specialist who, applying his or her knowledge and experience, is able to assess a person's state of mental health and prescribe pharmacological treatment or refer him to a psychologist accordingly. Medications and psychotherapy are often used simultaneously, and so-called combination therapy is common. In milder cases, psychotherapy alone or even psychological counseling is often sufficient. The doctor will decide which form of treatment would be most effective.


A psychologist is a specialist who has received a higher education in the field of psychology, but has not necessarily completed therapy training. The psychologist performs psychological counseling. There is also a higher level of clinical psychologist qualification, which enables more thoroughly the treatment and prevention of mental and behavioral disorders. Clinical psychologist has more thorough training in coping with more complex cases. He/she has gained experience mostly in working with hospital patients.

The psychotherapist has completed extensive training in psychotherapy under one of the relevant therapy schools (eg family therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychoanalytic therapy, etc.) which uses its own recognized and scientifically based therapies.

It is necessary to distinguish psychological counseling from therapy, the first of which deals more with everyday issues, while therapy deals with more complex and long-lasting emotional and behavioral problems. In a regular consultation, quick-acting solutions are found to a problem, helping the person to become aware of themselves and develop their abilities to cope with the problems.


One specialist can have several professions at the same time, for example, be both a clinical psychologist and a psychotherapist at the same time.


A mental health nurse is a specialist in the field of nursing with special skills and knowledge, who is able to assess a person's mental health status and advise on mental health-related problems. He or she is also able to decide whether a person with a health concern needs to be referred to a psychiatrist or whether, for example, the advice of a psychologist is sufficient. The work of a mental health nurse also includes monitoring the health status of patients already receiving psychiatric treatment, taking blood tests, counseling on simpler issues (sleep, course of treatment, coping with the disease, issues concerning returning to daily life). There is always a doctor next to the mental health nurse who directs the treatment process.