Psychiatrists are medical doctors that are trained in psychiatry, which relates to the treatment of mental disorders with psychotropic medication. Psychiatrists sometimes get additional training in psychotherapy and do talk therapy as well. Many focus on prescribing and managing medication for patients.
Psychotherapists do some form of talk therapy and can practice a wide variety of modalities such as psycho-dynamic and behavioral methods.
It is common for both psychiatrists and psychotherapists to refer to one another, as it’s common to treat mental health issues with both talk therapy and medication.
As a psychotherapist, I sometimes discuss the possibility of a referral to a psychiatrist for a consultation if either the patient or myself think it might be helpful.
I’ve also had patients referred to me by psychiatrists that I work with.
Both psychotherapists and psychiatrists can diagnose patients and treat them individually. Some psychiatrists will choose to not prescribe medication to a particular patient and only treat them with talk therapy if they are trained in this modality.
In many instances I see patients who have no need for a psychiatrist, as they respond well to talk therapy.
In other instances a patient make enough progress that they are able to discontinue their medication, with the guidance of their prescribing psychiatrist, and eventually discontinue meetings, while continuing talk therapy with myself.
It is not recommended that an individual talk psychotropic medication without talk therapy, as the medication treats the symptoms, while the talk therapy attempts to address the underlying issues.