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What does a Clinical Psychologist do?

Learn all about Clinical Psychologist duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Clinical Psychologist.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A clinical psychologist is a professional who helps people deal with mental and emotional disorders. They may work in a hospital, private practice, or other settings. Clinical psychologists use a variety of techniques to help their patients, including psychotherapy, counseling, and behavior therapy.

Clinical Psychologist job duties include:

  • Conduct psychological evaluations and assessments of patients
  • Diagnose mental disorders and emotional problems
  • Develop and implement treatment plans
  • Provide individual, group, and family therapy
  • Counsel patients on how to deal with stress and anxiety
  • Teach patients coping and problem-solving skills
  • Monitor patients’ progress and adjust treatment plans as needed
  • Collaborate with other mental health professionals to provide comprehensive care
  • Write reports and keep detailed clinical records

Clinical Psychologist Job Requirements

A Clinical Psychologist must have a doctorate in psychology, which takes an average of five to seven years to complete. Many states also require licensure, which involves passing an exam. Some Clinical Psychologists may choose to specialize in a certain area, such as working with children or the elderly. In addition to formal education and training, Clinical Psychologists must have excellent communication and people skills.

Clinical Psychologist Skills

  • Assessing mental health
  • Diagnosing mental health conditions
  • Planning and delivering therapy
  • Supporting people with mental health conditions
  • Conducting psychological assessments
  • Interpreting assessment results
  • Writing reports
  • Liaising with other professionals
  • Researching mental health conditions
  • Keeping up to date with developments in the field
  • Supervising trainee psychologists

Related: Top Clinical Psychologist Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Clinical Psychologist

A clinical psychologist is a mental health professional who provides therapy and counseling to patients with mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Clinical psychologists work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, private practices, and schools.

To become a clinical psychologist, you will need to earn a doctorate in psychology from an accredited university. During your doctoral program, you will take courses in psychopathology, psychological assessment, and psychotherapy. You will also complete a supervised clinical internship. After earning your doctorate, you will need to obtain a state license to practice clinical psychology.

If you are interested in becoming a clinical psychologist, you should start by researching doctoral programs in psychology. Once you have been accepted into a doctoral program, you will need to complete all required coursework and internships. Upon graduation, you will be eligible to take the state licensing exam. Once you have passed the exam and obtained your license, you will be able to begin practicing clinical psychology.

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