Career as a Clinical Psychologist


Summary

Clinical Psychologist is a person who diagnose or evaluate mental and emotional disorders of individuals through observation, interview, and psychological tests, and formulate and administer programs of treatment.

A Clinical Psychologist works directly in the mental health field with patients. They may work with patients one-onone or in a group setting, diagnosing and treating patients for various different mental disorders. Clinical psychologists differ from other types of psychologists because they specialize in abnormal psychology.

A Clinical Psychologist's primary tasks are assessment and treatment of mental health issues, including emotional or social disorders. Clinical Psychologists may use a variety of methods for treatment including psychotherapy, marriage and family counseling, behavioral analysis and biofeedback. A clinical psychologist's job responsibilities may also include development and supervision of mental health programs. Clinical psychologists can work in private practices, mental health organizations and hospitals, with individuals, families, couples or groups of all ages and socioeconomic statuses.

A Clinical Psychologist's goal is to help their patients understand their problems and then recover from their problems. Clinical Psychologists use the most up-to-date version of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) to guide and confirm their diagnosis, as well as their treatment plans. Clinical psychologists must tailor their treatment plans to each individual patient, as different people have different problems, and respond best to different forms of therapy. Even two people with the same problem may respond very differently to treatment and recovery plans.

The job duties of Clinical Psychologists center around developing an understanding of intellectual, psychological, emotional, social, and behavioral problems that cause individuals distress in their lives. More specifically, these issues run the gamut from emotional difficulties such as depression, to behavioral disorders such as autism, to severe mental health issues like schizophrenia or dissociative identity disorder.

Work Environment

Clinical Psychologists find work in various mental health, medical, and social service settings. Many clinical psychologists are self-employed, working in their own private practice with clients. Others are partners with other mental health professionals in a practice. Still others work beneath other mental health professionals in a private practice. Some clinical psychologists choose to work in mental health hospitals or group homes, such as eating behavior residential programs.

Entry Level Education

  • Bachelor’s / Master’s in Clinical Psychology.
  • Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.

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