What is a Clinical Psychologist?

One of the many careers in the field of psychology is a clinical psychologist. A clinical psychologist can look forward to the joy of helping people to overcome both emotional and psychological problems. While the differ from psychiatrists in the sense that they are not able to prescribe medication, a clinical psychologist is highly skilled in addressing issues that involve a patient’s psychological well being or state of mind and deal with many different techniques that can help them.

Clinical Psychology Specialty Fields

There are a variety of specializations within the field of clinical psychology for techniques of therapy. These include cognitive behavioral therapy, theoretical framework, positive psychology, humanistic psychology, transpersonal or existential therapy and psychodynamic psychology. In general, a clinical psychologist will focus on a specific mental or psychological disorder such as depression, schizophrenia, learning disabilities and even addiction. Some clinical psychologists are trained in the area of providing therapy to children, while others will focus on counseling the elderly or families. Then, there are those whose primary focus group is adult.

Who Do Clinical Psychologists Help?

Regardless of their specific area of expertise, all clinical psychologists work to help people who are experiencing major problems in life. Many of their patients are diagnosed with psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety, compulsive behavior disorder and others that can interfere with their normal everyday life. In most cases, these problems are sparked as a result of hardships, physical trauma and certain life transitions.

Career Options for Clinical Psychologists

A clinical psychologist can open his or her own private practice, work independently or within a group of other psychologists. This allows the professional to set their own hours and see as many or as few patients as they wish. Other career options a clinical psychologist has is to teach at a college or university, conduct research or work for certain organizations that require the specialized services that only he or she is able to provide.

Education Requirements

Education that is required to become a clinical psychologist involves obviously majoring in psychology. The student must work at internships and can volunteer their time at appropriate facilities as well. In some cases, a person can even become a psychologist when their major is something other than psychology. After receiving an undergraduate degree, the individual will have to attend graduate school and obtain a master’s degree, which can usually be earned within two years. However, many choose to obtain a doctorate of either a PhD (Doctor of Psychology) or PsyD (Doctor of Psychology).

Overall, the field of clinical psychology is a satisfying career that can earn you a great deal of pride. It is a challenging field that requires much patience and understanding, but you will be helping people who truly need it so that they can live normal lives.