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

            Showing schools in your area

            Matching School Ads
            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 [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • 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.S. in Psychology - General Psychology
            • Walden’s online MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program can give you the confidence and critical thinking skills needed to help clients cope with life and overcome their challenges.
            • Our MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program explores the latest counseling theories; evidence-based research; and tools for preventing, diagnosing, and treating mental health disorders
            • Learn from faculty who are professionally active and American Counseling Association members.
            • The program offers diverse specializations: Addiction Counseling, Career Counseling, Forensic Counseling, Military Families and Culture, and Trauma and Crisis Counseling.
            • Walden University’s MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is CACREP accredited.
            • Online Courses
            • 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
            Master of Science in Health Psychology
            • Northcentral University was founded in 1996 to provide working professionals around the world with unprecedented access to richly engaging, professionally relevant, and academically-rigorous education from a U.S. university.
            • As a regionally accredited, private, online and graduate-focused university, NCU offers doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in business, technology management, education, and psychology, as well as doctoral and master’s degrees in marriage and family therapy.
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Applied Psychology: Developmental Psychology
            • Liberty University provides a worldclass education from a christ-centered worldview
            • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels
            • No standardized testing if student meets admission requirements
            • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
            • 95% of Liberty University students receive some form of financial aid
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            • Take your interest in master courses further and make a game changing career move
            • GradSchools will help match you to the right program that aligns with your education goals and busy schedule
            • Explore Master, Doctoral and PhD Degrees in Psychology, Counseling, Social Work and MORE
            • Ready for your next step? Let GradSchools match you with programs for FREE!
            • Online Courses