Among the many fields of specialization in the study of mental processes and human behavior, clinical psychology is possibly the largest and the most recognized. Aside from psychological and mental disorders, clinical psychologist may also be involved in helping people deal with their personal issues, problems and their environment, with the goal of improving their well-being and, ultimately, their lives.
What do Clinical Psychologist Do?
Clinical psychologist are primarily involved in the diagnosis and treatment of mental and psychological disorders, such as depression, schizophrenia, and learning disabilities, as well as physical health problems like neurological and eating disorders. Their services and expertise also extend to the personal, such as when a person is having a hard time dealing with grief over the loss of a loved one, devastation over a recently concluded divorce, strange behaviors that border on addiction, and family and relationship problems. The methodologies may vary, but clinical psychologist use tools such as psychological tests, observations, interviews, and interventions which are composed of a vast range of techniques, methods, or approaches. Included in the services they provide are psychological treatments, conducting applied research related to the field, development of treatment and prevention programs, consultations for other professions and entities, counseling, and program administration. Should they be interested to further specialize in a specific field, they can choose among child and adolescent psychology, health psychology, school and sport psychology, and forensic psychology, among others.
Where do Clinical Psychologist Work?
You can find clinical psychologist in almost every setting. Often you will find them in consultancy capacities in various educational, social and health organizations. Others opt to stay with universities and hospitals to carry out applied research or help in the development of programs specifically addressing mental and psychological health. Depending on their further specialization, others get involved in rehabilitation programs, working with people recovering from severe physical injuries, or alcohol and substance abuse. While others set up shop and open their private practice, some clinical psychologist prefer to share their expertise in forensics, where they are made to evaluate the mental health of wrongdoers and criminals. Once in a while, they will also be asked to take the stand as an expert witness in court trials.
Who do Clinical Psychologist Work With?
Clinical psychologist work with a range of personalities and entities. The most obvious would be the patients themselves, or those who have mental, psychological, emotional or health problems. People suffering from depression and other conditions, or those who seek professional help in coping with upheavals or changes in their lives can personally approach the clinical psychologist. You will also find clinical psychologist working in a collaborative with other professionals. In the development of treatment programs, they have to collaborate with medical professionals; in forensics, they will find themselves working with law enforcers and people working in the legal system. You will also find them working closely with other doctors and psychiatrists, especially since they are not permitted to prescribe medications.
How Does One Become a Clinical Psychologist?
To become a clinical psychologist, one must possess the appropriate education and training; while the first can be acquired from an accredited educational institution, the latter can be obtained through supervised clinical experience and volunteer works. Some would require at least a Master’s degree or even a Ph.D., and since practicing the profession requires a license, one must pass the licensure examinations conducted by the appropriate licensing boards. In the United Sates, it is the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology or EPPP.
Clinical Psychologist Salary: Around $78K per year.