Psychiatry is a specialised branch of medicine that deals with the study, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of mental disorders. It is defined as a "discipline of synthesis", as the maintenance and pursuit of mental health is obtained by taking into consideration different areas: medical and pharmacological, neurological, psychological, sociological.
Psychiatry is more often oriented towards the identification of the mental or psychological disorder as a result of an abnormal function at a physiological level of the central nervous system. It follows a strictly scientific-materialistic procedure or perspective and includes the possibility of a pharmacological intervention and treatment.
Psychotherapy is a therapeutic practice performed by a psychotherapist (adequately specialised psychologist or doctor), who treats psychological disorders of a different nature and extent. They range from a modest personal maladjustment or hardship to severe symptoms, that can manifest themselves with neurotic or psychotic symptoms as to jeopardise the individual’s well-being, and cripple the individual from living his/her normal day-to-day life.
The word Psychotherapy concerns the treatments of the psyche enabled by psychological tools such as an interview, interior analysis, discussion, relationship etc. to consciously change the psychological processes which determine the malaise or inappropriate lifestyle, often characterised by symptoms such as anxiety, depression, phobias, etc.
Professionally, psychotherapy in Italy is a health specialisation reserved for Doctors and Psychologists registered with their respective professional associations, and is achieved through a training course at postgraduate university schools of specialisation, or private graduate schools. The latter must be formally recognised and authorised by a special Commission - the MIUR (Ministry of University and Research) to provide this specialised training.
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