Mar-Dec 2006 Editorial: Psychiatrists and Clinical Psychologists

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Psychiatrists and Clinical Psychologists



Psychiatrists and clinical psychologists share an inevitable, if rather uneasy, relationship. So very much like a modern marriage. Can’t do without it, can’t get out of it. Both sides contemplate divorce often. Think of separation by mutual consent. Even keep threatening as they rave and rant. Have secret, and not so secret, flings on the side. But, like the proverbial homing bird, or the conservative Indian arranged marriage, have no option but to stick it out with each other.


Psychiatrists are otherwise good people. But that does not make them immune to handling clinical psychologists with the condescending tolerance and patronizing acceptance that teachers, for example, have towards rambling students. Or the rich have towards the poor. This does not take long to get converted to exasperation and smirky asides in the less charitable amongst the psychiatrists. Not that clinical psychologists are very helpful in motivating the psychiatrists to change for the better. For they, like most people in their position, over react and get aggressive when confronted with this attitude. And understandably so.  However, it is time both realized their attitudes were not helpful either for mutual interaction, or growth of the Mental Health Movement at large.


We can understand why Psychiatrists behave the way they do. They are exposed to this same condescending-patronising attitude from their own peers in the medical profession. Their medical colleagues have yet to develop a feeling of healthy respect for psychiatry. Psychiatrists, no doubt, feel this is unjustified, but their peers are still in a position to deny them the respect and acceptance they seek. What they get from their medical colleagues, they unwittingly pass on to their clinical psychologist colleagues. But understanding why it occurs does not absolve them of their responsibility to behave more rationally, rather than emotionally, with the latter.

Read further at:;year=2006;volume=4;issue=1;spage=10;epage=13;aulast=Singh



Mens Sana Monographs [MSM]: A Mens Sana Research Foundation Publication

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