What is Clinical Psychology?

Clinical psychology is a psychological field that is focused on treating emotional and mental conditions, using a scientific approach. Clinical psychologists also have more research experience than other types of psychologists do. Some of the places where clinical psychologists work include: private practices, mental health clinics, hospitals, military hospitals and healthcare clinics, schools and universities and corporations.

  • What Most Clinical Psychologists Do - The majority of clinical psychologists treat people who have various types of mental disorders. Some clinical psychologists decided to specialize in a specific area during their master's degree in clinical psychology programs. Some work with troubled children and teens, in a clinical or correctional setting. Some enjoy helping geriatric patients, often in a nursing home, who are struggling with changes occurring in their lives. Many offer counseling for alcohol and drug problems, either on an outpatient basis or in a treatment center
  • Additional Specialties for Clinical Psychologists - Specialists in forensic psychology often testify in criminal court cases. School psychologists focus on helping students with behavior problems. A popular field is sports psychology, which involves helping athletes with issues that arise due to injuries. Some find fulfillment teaching psychology in universities, as well as conducting research
  • Examples of Disorders That Clinical Psychologists Treat - While clinical psychologists in most places cannot prescribe medication, they can help people with mental or emotional problems through therapy sessions. Major cases of depression, including bipolar disorder, are often treated by psychologists. Psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, may also be treated. Clinical psychologists can also help people coping with stressful and traumatic life events.
  • Deciding Whether Clinical Psychology is For You - Clinical psychology can be a very fascinating field to work in. However, it is not an ideal career choice for everyone. You need to be able to handles stress very well, because clinical psychology is very demanding. There is also the possibility of conflict, since many patients have anger issues or are otherwise unstable. It's also important for you to be able to work well with people, regardless of whether they are patients, family members of patients, or colleagues. Those who may not be able to cope with the stress often associated with clinical psychology may be better-suited to some type of applied psychology.
  • The Level of Education Required - Anyone interested in becoming a psychologist will need to consider an online Masters in Clinical Psychology, as well as a Doctorate degree. Expect four to six years of additional schooling after receiving your Bachelors degree. Know what the minimum educational requirements are for licensing in your state ahead of time. Terminal clinical psychology master's online degrees may be an option for some. Psy.D. programs have their main focus on practice, and students spend more time on internships. Ph.D. degree programs are more research-oriented, and students may also do cross-discipline experiments
  • How Clinical Psychologists Help Patients - There are different types of approaches and methods that psychologists use, depending on the specific problem and the psychologist's philosophy. The different approaches and methods are influenced by noted psychologists from the past and the present. Psychologists conduct a series of psychotherapy sessions with their patients designed to help them cope with problems. They conduct testing and assessments to identify mental disorders. Psychologists influenced by Maslow and Rogers try to help patients reach their full potential. Therapists influenced by Freud try to find out about subconscious problems that contribute to behavior. In many cases, therapy is focused on correcting behavior and thoughts that cause stress. Many psychologists use eclectic methods that combine elements from several approaches
Clinical psychology is able to help many people struggling with psychological issues through its use of sound science. It is a very desirable field for many psychologists. This type of psychology offers many unique experiences.


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