What does a psychologist do?
Different types of psychologists
What is Clinical Psychology
The field of Clinical Psychology integrates science, theory, and practice to understand, predict, and alleviate maladjustment, disability, and discomfort as well as to promote human adaptation, adjustment, and personal development. Clinical Psychology focuses on the intellectual, emotional, biological, psychological, social, and behavioral aspects of human functioning across the life span, in varying cultures, and at all socioeconomic levels.
What does a Clinical Psychologist do?
Clinical psychologists help people with mental or emotional problems adjust to life. Some help people cope with physical illnesses or injuries. Others help people facing crises such as divorce or the loss of a loved one.
A clinical psychologist has specialised training in psychotherapy. A clinical psychologist is not a medical doctor and as such I do not prescribe medication. Rather I make use of conversation and listening as a tool to relieve emotional pain and discomfort. Visit the psychological services section for more information.
A clinical psychologist is a professional who specializes in helping people change their behavior, thoughts, or feelings. Clinical psychologists generally have six or more years of advanced schooling in addition to a bachelor’s degree. During their advanced education, they focus on how to provide therapy for people with psychological problems. They receive classroom training as well as practical experience. At the end of their doctoral program, they spend a full year providing therapy under the supervision of experienced clinicians.
The Clinical Psychologist is educated and trained to generate and integrate scientific and professional knowledge and skills so as to further psychological science, the professional practice of psychology, and human welfare. Clinical Psychologists are involved in research, teaching and supervision, program development and evaluation, consultation, public policy, professional practice, and other activities that promote psychological health in individuals, families, groups, and organizations. Their work can range from prevention and early intervention of minor problems of adjustment to dealing with the adjustment and maladjustment of individuals whose disturbance requires then to be institutionalized.
Practitioners of Clinical Psychology work directly with individuals at all developmental levels (infants to older adults), as well as groups (families, patients of similar psychopathology, and organizations), using a wide range of assessment and intervention methods to promote mental health and to alleviate discomfort and maladjustment.
Researchers study the theory and practice of Clinical Psychology, and through their publications, document the empirical base of Clinical Psychology. Consultants, Teachers, and Clinical Supervisors share the Clinical Psychology knowledge base with students, other professionals, and non-professionals. Clinical Psychologists also engage in program development, evaluate Clinical Psychology service delivery systems, and analyze, develop, and implement public policy on all areas relevant to the field of Clinical Psychology. Many Clinical Psychologists combine these activities.
Assessment in Clinical Psychology involves determining the nature, causes, and potential effects of personal distress; of personal, social, and work dysfunctions; and the psychological factors associated with physical, behavioral, emotional, nervous, and mental disorders. Examples of assessment procedures are interviews, behavioral assessments, and the administration and interpretation of tests of intellectual abilities, aptitudes, personal characteristics, and other aspects of human experience and behavior relative to disturbance.
Interventions in Clinical Psychology are directed at preventing, treating, and correcting emotional conflicts, personality disturbances, psychopathology, and the skill deficits underlying human distress or dysfunction. Examples of intervention techniques include psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, behavior therapy, marital and family therapy, group therapy, biofeedback, cognitive retraining and rehabilitation, social learning approaches, and environmental consultation and design. The goal of intervention is to promote satisfaction, adaptation, social order, and health.
also refers to the application of such knowledge to various spheres of human activity, including problems of individuals’ daily lives and the treatment of mental illness. Psychology differs from biology and neuroscience in that it is primarily concerned with the interaction of mental processes and behavior, and of the overall processes of a system, and not uniquely the biological or neural processes themselves, though the subfield of neuropsychology combines the study of the actual neural processes with the study of the mental effects they have subjectively produced. However, biological psychology, the scientific study of the biological bases of behavior and mental states, is a subfield of biology and psychology which deals with this mental effects.
A psychiatrist will tend to treat patients with drugs as a bandaid solution to the real underlying problem of the patient. Although Psychiatry is a medical specialty dealing with the prevention, assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of mental illness – both in itself and in bodily illness (‘psychiatry in medicine’) – such as clinical depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders.
Its primary goal is the relief of mental suffering and improvement of mental well-being. This is sometimes done by first doing a thorough diagnostic assessment of the person from a biological, psychological, and social/cultural perspective. An illness or problem can then be managed by medication or various forms of psychotherapy.
WHERE DO CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGISTS WORK?
Clinical Psychologists work throughout the United States in a variety of settings including individual practice, mental health service units, managed healthcare organizations, hospitals, schools, universities, industries, legal systems, medical systems, counseling centers, governmental agencies, and military services.
QUALIFICATIONS TO PRACTICE CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY
An earned doctorate from a Clinical Psychology program represents the basic entry level for the provision of Clinical Psychology services. Unique to Clinical Psychology training is the requirement of substantial course work in the areas of personality and psychopathology, resulting in comprehensive understanding of normal and abnormal adjustment and maladjustment across the life span.
The American Psychological Association sets the standards for Clinical Psychology graduate programs and recognizes programs meeting these standards through an accreditation process. All states require a license to practice Clinical Psychology.