APA describes clinical psychology as “the branch of psychology concerned with the assessment and treatment of mental illness, abnormal behavior, and psychiatric problems”. This blog explores what a clinical psychologist actually does, where they work and how to become one.
Clinical psychology is a field that applies psychological research and techniques to clinical settings. Clinical psychology addresses behavioral and mental health issues faced by individuals across a life span which include emotional, psychological, and behavioral maladjustment, disability, and discomfort.
Clinical psychologists provide counseling using a variety of approaches specific to the clients needs. The researchers do not believe in one size fits all approach and focus on the individual.There are several approaches that are used by psychologists, some of which are the psychodynamic approach, cognitive behavioral perspective, and humanistic approach.
Activities of a clinical psychologist include
Assessment- The first step is assessing what the problem is and what is causing it. This involves collecting information about people such as their behavior, problems, background, and unique characteristics. This can be done by tests, observations, and interviews such as asking questions and giving the client a chance to talk about themselves, observing and evaluating a clients behavior and other psychological tests which may be given to observe a clients behavior.
Intervention- the psychologist would recommend interventions and treatment options that are available to help people understand better and solve distressing problems. Although individual psychotherapy is most frequently used, it can also be used in couple, family, and group therapy. These treatments take multiple sessions and are in the form of several approaches such as psychoanalysis, behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, and integrative theory. They work well for emotional, behavioral, and mental issues and are proven to work best for mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, and personality disorders.
Research- Research plays a vital role in clinical psychology. Some of these research are conducted in research laboratories, while some are conducted outside the laboratory, in a natural less controllable environment.
- Consultation- Clinical psychologists may sometimes be contacted by other health professionals to collaborate on community health initiatives or provide expertise in some other way. They may perform various tasks like education, direct service, training,
How To Become A Clinical Psychologist in India
Becoming a clinical psychologist is a tedious process, but is definitely worth the hard work. To become a clinical psychologist you will need a 10+ 2 degree, preferably with psychology as a subject. Pursuing graduation in psychology would be the next step, where you could graduate with a BA or a BSc in Psychology and then a post-graduation in clinical psychology. To practice clinical psychology in India, The Rehabilitation Council of India issues licenses to professionals to practice independently. To get the license, you have to pursue your M.phil (Clinical Psychology).Having internship and training experience such as Clinical Psychology Internship & Training definitely boosts your resume.
Most commonly, clinical psychologists work in settings such as
- public and private medical and psychiatric hospitals,
- public and private mental health clinics,
- rehabilitation centers for the handicapped,
- Court systems
- Business organizations
- School Counsellor
- Research and teacher
- and medical schools.
A WORD FROM SOCIALLY SOULED
You may be wondering if a degree in clinical psychology is worth it. Clinical psychology is one of the most popular areas in psychology and offers an array of career options along with growth opportunities. Further, helping patients and their families that have behavioral or mental health illnesses is always a plus point!
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