9 Qualifications of a Highly Effective Clinical Psychologist

There are several qualities that a highly effective clinical psychologist must possess. Those who have an online Masters in Clinical Psychology generally have many of the necessary qualifications. The most effective clinical psychologists have basic qualifications, as well as additional ones that have a positive impact on their practices.

  1. Highly-Educated - All clinical psychologists must possess at least a Masters in Clinical Psychology. The most effective clinical psychologists have obtained a Doctorate degree. This may be either a Doctor of Philosophy, or a Doctor of Psychology. A psychologist who has a Doctorate degree will have more practical training than one who has a Bachelors or Masters degree.
  2. A Good Sense of Compassion - Good psychologists must be genuinely compassionate and concerned for the welfare of their clients. A sense of empathy is essential, in order to identify with his or her difficulties. It is important to offer advice in a non-judgmental way. Clients need to feel as though they are talking to a person who is emotionally safe for them.
  3. Excellent Attention to Moral and Legal Issues - Any well-trained psychologist will have a good sense of the ethical rules that must be adhered to. Violating these rules has serious consequences. It is also necessary to be aware of the current laws that govern the psychological profession.
  4. Willingness to Continue Education - There are numerous additional skills and methods that practicing psychologists can acquire over time. New discoveries are found through research almost every day. Any new information may be potentially useful in a clinical setting. Good psychologists always want to expand their knowledge and find effective ways to help people.
  5. A Willingness to Treat Patients as Individuals - It is crucial for psychologists to see their clients as individuals with differing needs. Patients may not always make progress at the same levels. This can be especially frustrating for family members. Good psychologists have reasonable expectations, and can help family members cope with a seeming lack of progress.
  6. Open-Mindedness - The best clinical psychologists are able to effectively relate to people of various backgrounds, with different circumstances. It may be necessary for psychologists to help clients overcome objections to therapy that have a religious or cultural basis. He or she must also be open to new methods.
  7. Effective Interpersonal Skills - Good interpersonal skills are a must, both for communicating with clients and colleagues. You'll need to be able to verbally communicate well in stressful situations. It is also essential to have good written skills as well.
  8. Emotionally Sound - A psychologist needs to be able to counsel people effectively, without allowing any issues that they may be facing themselves to interfere with their work. Good psychologists should have already worked through their own issues, or gotten to a place where they can handle them. This is especially true of psychologists who deal with deeply-disturbed clients.
  9. Good Stress Management Skills - Clinical psychologists work in environments that can be quite stressful. You may have to work long hours with specific clients. Some may be mentally unstable and prone to acting out. Others may try to quarrel with you. Many psychologists suffer burnout as a result of some of the stressful situations that arise.

There are many qualifications that are required for a clinical psychologist to be successful. Many potential clinical psychologists already have some of these qualifications. It's quite easy to develop additional skills that may help you during your training, as well as once you begin practicing. Deciding to pursue a clinical psychology masters online may be a very good option if you already have some of the necessary qualifications.


Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            Master of Science in Applied Psychology - Community Psychology
            • SJU provides a rigorous, student-centered education rooted in the liberal arts
            • A Jesuit school with 8,415 students in all programs for 2016 grads &undergrads
            • Institutionally Accredited by the MSCHE and the AACSB (Haub School of Business)
            • 96% of 2016 graduates employed, pursuing graduate study or volunteering full time
            • Qualifying students can receive financial assistance with tuition costs
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            Clinical Leadership Certificate

            Saint Xavier University education that is grounded in the tradition of liberal arts. SXU offers graduate and post-graduate programs that are recognized and respected by employers and delivered by professional faculty who are experts in their fields. 

            • Online Courses
            M.A. Clinical Psychology, Marital and Family Therapy Specialization
            • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
            • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year.
            • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities ( beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities. 
            • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
            Show more [+]
            • Financial Aid
            M.S. in Psychology with an Emphasis in Forensic Psychology
            • Master's Degree in Psychology: Designed for the Working Adult
            • Flexibility: We offer convenient online or evening programs to fit your schedule.
            • Variety: Choose from General Psychology or an emphasis in Industrial & Organizational Psychology.
            • Programs focus on the development of critical thinking and leadership qualities, as they apply to your profession.
            • Degrees designed for individuals who desire promotion and/or continued academic exposure in the field of psychology.
            • Speak with an enrollment counselor today & decide which program interests you!
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            M.A. Psychology
            • Several institutional scholarship opportunities are available to students who qualify.
            • Features several learning model options, including online, residency, and hybrid options.
            • Offers graduate degree programs in organizational leadership, mind-body medicine, psychology and human science.
            • Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
            • Two teaching locations in Seattle, Washington with the university headquarters located in Oakland, California.
            • Online Courses
            Applied Psychology: Developmental Psychology
            • • Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
            • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.**
            • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
            • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned.
            • *BestColleges.com Gold Medal of Distinction
            • **excludes licensure, certification, and some doctoral programs
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling

            Inspired by the pioneering work of 19th-century educator and former Antioch President Horace Mann, Antioch University offers higher education that acknowledges the common good, prizes hands-on learning, and is inspired by a diverse academic community. We seek to instill in our students the knowledge and self-awareness to become lifelong learners, compassionate leaders, and world citizens.

            • Online Courses
            Online Master of Science in Applied Psychology
            • Ranked 25th among the Best National Universities in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
            • One of the world’s leading private research universities.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 9:1, and 56.8% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has an average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, of 96.8 percent.
            • Dedicated to a strong tradition of integrating liberal and professional education since 1880.
            • Its faculty includes National Academy members, Nobel Laureates, MacArthur Fellows, and more.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate

            George Mason University is Virginia's largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 33,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility.  George Mason University is an innovative and inclusive academic community committed to creating a more just, free, and prosperous world. 


            • Online Courses
            MBA - Organizational Development and Human Resource Management
            • A Master of Business Administration with an Emphasis in Healthcare Management and Leadership is designed to prepare students for careers in the fields of managed care supervision
            • , patient care management, healthcare services manager, regulatory analysis, and resource specialists.
            • An MBA from California Intercontinental University is designed to prepare students for today's most in demand industries.
            • Tailor your graduate studies around one of our several MBA programs, including Banking & Finance, International Management & Marketing, Project Management and more!
            • A Master of Business Administration with an Emphasis in Information Systems and Knowledge Management is designed to prepare students for careers in the fields
            • of configuration management, server administration, knowledge management specialist, business systems analysis, and control systems management.
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits