Telepsychiatry is the practice of Psychiatry using Telemedicine.
Psychiatry is a medical specialty dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. Psychiatrists are medical doctors, and are primarily trained in the use of medications to treat these conditions. A psychiatrist may also do psychotherapy with their patients, but more often work in partnership with psychologists or counselors who provide that aspect of treatment.
Telemedicine is the use of electronic communications, such as videoconferencing or telephone, to provide medical care. Telemedicine via videoconferencing is now a widely used and accepted means of patient care, and research shows that it is as effective as a face-to-face visit, and often more efficient.
At MPP, we believe telemedicine is especially effective in the practice of psychiatry because it alleviates many anxiety or shame barriers associated with visiting a psychiatry office. It also greatly increases a sense of security and relief for a patient who may now receive care right in the comfort of their own home.
Whereas psychiatrists are medical doctors who can prescribe medications for the treatment of mental disorders, psychologists are non-medical professionals who have completed several years of graduate study focusing mainly on psychotherapy, or talk therapy. In most states, psychologists are not trained or permitted to prescribe medications. However, both pychiatrists and psychologists are trained to help patients with mental health issues, and may work in tandem with patients who need both medication and talk therapy.
If you are unsure which kind of care you need, the best thing to do is to get an initial evaluation with us, and we will be happy to help you.