What is Clinical Psychology?

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What is Clinical Psychology? 2014-07-01T21:00:33+00:00

A Clinical Psychologist is often the image we conjure up when we think of a psychologist, therapist or counselor. These highly skilled mental health professionals work with individuals, couples, families and groups to work towards solving a problem, alleviating a stressor or helping to manage a psychiatric diagnosis.

What are the Primary Responsibilities of a Clinical Psychologist?

Clinical Psychology is considered both a general health practice and a health service provider specialty in psychology. Clinical Psychologists provide professional therapeutic services for the diagnosis, assessment, evaluation, treatment and prevention of psychological, emotional, psychophysiological and behavioral disorders in individuals of all ages and levels of distress. Clinical Psychology practice involves understanding, forecasting, and improving intellectual, emotional, physical, and psychological distress, social and behavioral maladjustment, and mental illness, as well as other forms of stress.

Clinical psychologists can offer a range of professional services, including:

  • Conducting and interpreting psychological assessments
  • Conducting psychological research
  • Consultation with interdisciplinary teams in mental health settings, medical facilities and other healthcare settings, schools and businesses
  • Development of preventative and treatment programs
  • Program administration
  • Provide psychological/ mental treatment
  • Teach at the collegiate level

Where Do Clinical Psychologists Typically Work?

Clinical Psychologists have one of the largest varieties in choosing where to practice. These professionals can be found in schools, hospitals, addiction treatment facilities, rehabilitation facilities, universities, governmental agencies, private practices and many, many more.

What Training is Needed to Become a Clinical Psychologist?

The level of education to become a Clinical Psychologist varies depending upon the state in which you choose to practice. Some states allow Master’s level clinicians to practice on their own. Other states require a Master’s Degree as well as post-graduate training (internship, residency, etc.). While some other states require a doctoral degree in order to practice Clinical Psychology in the state.

How Much Money Can I Earn As a Clinical Psychologist?

According to the 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median national annual salary for clinical psychologists is $67,650. Salaries throughout the United States vary greatly depending upon further specialization within the field, region of practice, years of experience and several other factors.

Are There Any Professional Organizations for Clinical Psychologists?

The American Board of Clinical Psychology (ABCP) is a member Specialty Board of the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). The requirements set forth by the ABCP for board certification in Clinical Psychology is intended to ensure that candidates have completed the educational, training, and experiential requirements of the Clinical Psychology specialty. This includes a performance examination created to assess the skills and knowledge necessary to provide quality services in the specialty of Clinical Psychology.

Clinical Psychology is a wide and varied sub-field of professional psychology. Students can choose a general Clinical Psychology education or they can further specialize into a narrower area of the field. A graduate level degree in Clinical Psychology allows you a great deal of flexibility in how and where you can practice psychology.