Psychologists employ their education and knowledge of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) to provide diagnostic interviews, psychological testing, and individual and group psychotherapy. They may work as part of a multidisciplinary team, and consult with other professionals regarding patient care. These other professionals vary depending upon the type of psychologist. For instance, a school psychologist may work with teachers, social workers, counselors, and doctors. Psychologists may also communicate with family members and other care providers. Additionally, they conduct a significant amount of verbal interviews, as well as collaboration with other professionals; report writing is extensive and need to be clear as a medical record, as well as for other care providers when necessary.
Psychologists may work part time, full time, or on a contractual basis; as a result, hours may vary considerably from position to position. Some psychologist positions may require travel to a variety of locations as part of consultations or meetings with other professionals, seminars, and professional conferences.
Psychologists must have either a clinical or counseling doctorate in psychology, although some positions may accept a master’s degree. Many positions may require the degree to be from an American Psychological Association (APA)-accredited school. Also required are a license for the applicable state and malpractice insurance. Experience in providing therapy, or at least an internship, is preferred. More prestigious positions, or those accepting a master’s degree, may require up to 15 years of experience.
Excellent communication skills, both oral and written, are necessary.
- Administer and interpret psychological tests and measurements, and document results internally and for patients.
- Guide patients through treatment regimens like behavior modification, psychotherapy, and group therapy.
- Respond to crises with appropriate interventions and change treatment plans to respond to changing circumstances.
- Conduct psychological exams, providing recommendations about courses of treatment and diagnosis.
- Participate in and recruit for applied research in psychology.