A clinical psychologist usually obtain a doctorate degree, either a Psy.D. or Ph.D. They will need experience in a clinical setting before taking a state licensing examination, which varies by state. Specialization among clinical psychologists often results from adherence to a particular theoretical framework or focus on a specific disorder or condition. Clinical psychologists often enter private practice, where they work in comfortable office settings, set their own schedules and can limit the number of patients seen. They also work in organization settings, such as mental health facilities, hospitals, or schools. Additionally, many clinical psychologists engage in research or teaching. They can opt to treat children, adolescents, or adults, individual patients, couples, or groups of patients. Clinical psychologists must exhibit objectivity, acute observation abilities and attention to detail, excellent interpersonal and communication skills, and advanced knowledge of psychology, psychological theories, and various treatment options available. They must exhibit self-awareness and be emotionally stable, able to diffuse highly emotional situations, and demonstrate patience.
Clinical Psychologist Tasks
- Write reports on clients, and maintain required paperwork.
- Develop and implement individual treatment plans and duration of therapy.
- Identify psychological, emotional, or behavioral issues, and diagnose disorders, using information obtained from interviews, tests, records, and reference materials.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of counseling or treatments, the accuracy and completeness of diagnoses, then modify plans and diagnoses as necessary.