Love: Mental Health Professional and Psychologist Essay

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Vanessa Elleman
Holiday Outcome Task: Unit 1 Psychology 2014
MEDIA RESPONSE: Media Portrayal of Psychologists and Psychiatrists
A psychologist is an individual who is an expert in human behaviour, having studied the aspects of the brain and human development and the processes determining how people think, feel, behave and react. They apply their expertise using reliable and supported methods to help treat and support their patients for them to eventually be able to effectively cope with life situations and problems. On the other hand, psychiatrists are medical experts who specialise in the diagnoses, treatment and prevention on mental health and emotional disorders. There is not an immense difference between the two occupations, however a psychiatrist is mainly concerned and focused on diagnosing and treating a disorder, where as a psychologist is primarily focused on the patients’ thoughts, feelings and general mental health. There are a few distinguishing characteristics between a psychiatrist and psychologist, they include psychiatrists being able to prescribe medication and psychologists not being able to have that privilege, the salaries vary depending on the field but typically psychiatrists earn more than psychologist due to the medical degree and each occupation requires a different method of study whether it’s a degree in medicine (psychiatrist) or a doctorate in psychology (psychologist). In the 1999 film, Girl Interrupted, Susanna Kaysan is institutionalised in a mental hospital where she comes into contact with a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist is quite old with a fair complexion, wearing apricot colour-coded clothing and has orange permed hair. She is situated behind a wooden desk surrounded by a typical office of a psychiatrist/psychologist with wooden furnishings, shelves filled with books and files and researching equipment. The psychiatrist has a very calming, posh tone of voice and is smoking while the scene. She was questioning Susanna meanwhile showing her she was knowable and educated, but after Susanna’s aggressive reply she becomes quite stern, telling her the confronting truth and giving her deep thoughts to question. The portrayal of the psychiatrists’ appearance is stereotypically accurate except they would never be able to smoke in the presence of a client. Generally they would act more professional and try and relate and create a connection instead of having a disagreement with the Susanna and informing her of the denial and problem she faces. Overall I believe the portrayal was semi-accurate of a psychiatrist but the consultation was dramatised to keeping the audience intrigued. Good Will Hunting is a film starring Matt Damon who plays a janitor with a general gift of mathematics, but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life. The male psychologist in the film has facial hair, glasses, wears unfashionable clothes with mainly cream,…