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.
Conduct psychological exams, providing recommendations about courses of treatment and diagnosis.
Participate in and recruit for applied research in psychology.
Respond to crises with appropriate interventions and change treatment plans to respond to changing circumstances.
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.