What Do I Need To Know About Clinical Psychology?

What Do I Need To Know About Clinical Psychology?

Mar 30, 2015 | 12:00 pm

Clinical psychology is a field that involves the diagnosis, assessment, treatment and prevention of mental illness/disorders. Although experts who work in this particular field are known to work in medical environments, a clinical psychologist is not a medical doctor and in most states, he or she does not prescribe medicines.

Clinical psychology is known to represent the single major sub-field of psychologist. Although every clinical psychologist is interested in mental, there are in fact several sub-specialties with the field. A couple of these specialty areas also include the following:

•Adult mental health
•Child mental health
•Emotional disturbances
•Learning disabilities
•Health psychology
•Substance abuse

What Exactly Does a Clinical Psychologist Do?

Clinical psychologists typically work in academic settings, hospitals, or private practices. The clinicians are specially trained in a variety of theoretical approaches and techniques. Some clinical psychologists specialize in treating specific psychological disorders, and others work with patients who suffer from other types of problems. Depression and schizophrenia are the two most severe psychiatric disorder treated by clinical psychologists.

Aside from working with patients, a clinical psychologist also has to keep a detailed record of client assessment, diagnosis, treatment notes and therapeutic objectives. The records assist the clinicians and the clients keep a good track on progress and most times required for insurance and billing purposes.

What Kind of Degrees Do Clinical Psychologists Need?

While there are some individuals who find work with their master’s degree, a large number of positions require candidates to have a doctoral degree in order to apply. There are a couple of graduate programs that accept candidates with undergraduate degrees in unrelated disciplines. However, most encourage students to earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology prior to pursuing graduate studies in clinical psychology.

Is a Career in Clinical Psychology the Right Choice for You?

It is very important for clinical psychologists to have superb communication skills. It is also vital for one to be creative when developing a treatment plan and approaches. Prior to deciding on having a career in clinical psychology, one should first contact a local human service about an available volunteer opportunity. This career path can be both rewarding and demanding, volunteer experiences can help you determine if a career in clinical psychology is a good choice or not.

What is the Typical Salary for Clinical Psychologists?

According to the APA Research Office, licensed clinical psychologists earned $72,000 in 2001. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2012, the median wage for psychologist was $69,280 (at $33.31 per hour).

Job Outlook

According to BLS, hiring of clinical psychologists is projected to rise by twelve percent (12%) from the year 2012 to 2022 – this is about as fast as the standard for every occupation. Employment opportunities should be best for those who have earned a doctoral degree – this does not mean that bachelor degree holders do not stand a chance in the labor market. Earning a doctoral degree does increase one’s employability.