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.
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