The lay person (including myself prior to med school) really doesn't understand what psychiatry is relative to psychology or other medicine. So in brief, we are trained to be experts in the psychiatric medications (which there are several that are increasingly better understood), diagnosing disorders based on symptoms, psychotherapy (think of the couch), and a few assorted procedures. Psychologists do the testing which we use the results. This is actually more involved than you may think.
Anyway, to get to the point of this post, I was in psychotherapy lecture and we were discussing a recent tragedy with one of our colleagues. We started talking about suicide and the effect it has on the caregivers. I was listening and interjected my limited experience with a high school classmate commiting suicide. It was pretty profound the effect it had on me since we were friends but not great friends. I immediately went back to the time I found out about the whole thing and the difficulty I had with the whole situation. The psychotherapist, without meaning to, slipped into her therapy mode with me. She asked a couple of questions that I had not ever thought about and essentially I was in the fetal position sucking my thumb. Well, that is an exageration, but the experience was profound.
It is amazing how a few well placed very simple questions can reveal so much. I really enjoy this part of my training so far; I hope to continue to get better at it.