Clinical psychologists carry out patient evaluations and treatment in order to diagnose and relieve psychological issues; these issues may be due to the mental state of the patient or the environment and situations he/she has been facing. Objective evaluations should be carried out in order to determine the problems and what sort of care should be provided. Common issues that may be addressed include depression, anxiety, and behavioral problems.
In this position, it is important to have strong communication skills and be compassionate toward patients. Some patients may be limited in their cognitive abilities, perhaps due to brain injuries or illnesses, so patience and understanding are extremely valuable. Strong knowledge of the biology of the body and the various treatment methods available is also essential.
Clinical psychologists may work with other medical providers of particular patients in order to determine their capacities and what treatment they have received in the past; based on this, the psychologist may determine what therapy should be administered. Therapy may be conducted on an individual or group basis, depending on the situation, and it is also important to maintain a strong network of medical providers in order to refer patients to other services when necessary.
Aspiring clinical psychologists should have a Ph.D. in clinical or counseling psychology from an APA-accredited organization, and prior experience in clinical psychology may be required for some positions; this experience can be obtained through previous employment or internships. Current and valid licensing is also required.
Clinical Psychologist Tasks
- Write reports on clients, and maintain required paperwork.
- Develop and implement individual treatment plans and duration of therapy.
- Identify psychological, emotional, or behavioral issues, and diagnose disorders, using information obtained from interviews, tests, records, and reference materials.
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