Clinical Psychology is a field of psychology that studies the behaviour related to various mental disorders along with with their diagnosis and treatment. It can also be defined as the assessment, study, research, and treatment of behavior in different contexts which includes various biological, social, and psychological factors. It is one of the biggest branches of psychology.
A clinical psychologist is a mental health care professional whose work involves the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental disorders and looking over the various biological, social, and psychological factors contributing to them.
Major approaches to Clinical Psychology
- The Psychodynamic Approach- This approach talks about the unconscious mind. It focuses on resolving a patient’s conflicted conscious/ unconscious feelings.
- The cognitive Behavioral approach- This approach talks about the interrelation of thoughts (what we think affects how we feel and act), behaviours (what we do affects how we think and feel), and emotions (what we feel affects how we think and behave).
- The humanistic Approach- This theory emphasizes the study of the whole person. It not only studies behaviour through the eyes of the behaviour but also through the eyes of the person doing it.
- The family System Approach- According to this approach in order to understand the behaviour of a person it’s important to understand the interaction of a person in his family with other members of his family.
Work process of a clinical psychologist
- To access, diagnose and treat mental disorders.
- To describe mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders.
- To treat various mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders like learning disability, alcoholism, anxiety, depression, and other disorders through therapies.
- To understand the emotional, mental, and behavioral problems going on in someone’s life through interview, observation, and case study.
- To prepare a treatment plan according to the needs of the client.
- To hold regular meetings and psychological sessions.
- To change and do adjustments according to the client.
Skills required by a clinical psychologist
- Empathetic in nature.
- Patient Listener.
- Flexible in nature.
- Analytical Thinker.
- Good problem-solving skills.
- Logical reasoning.
- Good knowledge about his/her field.
- A people Person.
- Supportive in nature
- Compassionate with others
Process of becoming a clinical psychologist
- 10+2 from any stream but PCB and Humanities field along with Psychology as a subject is preferred.
- Bachelor’s in Psychology
- Master’s in psychology with clinical psychology as a specialization
- M.Phil in clinical psychology
- Ph.D. in psychology or PsyD in Psychology (Not mandatory but is preferred)
Work fields of a clinical psychologist
- Old age homes
- Private settings
- Rehab Centers
Best career options for a clinical psychologist
- Child Psychologist – Professionals who study the psychological process of children and how this psychological process develops over the course of life span from childhood to adolescence and how these processes differ from adults and also how children differ from each other.
- Clinical Case Manager– This is a health care provider whose work is to handle the various factors involved in a patient’s care. They look over the patient’s needs and demands and develop treatment plans according to them. They also ensure the patients get the best available treatment.
- Clinical Social Worker– They are social workers who have done their specialty in clinical social work. Their job roles include assessment, treatment, and diagnosis of various mental, emotional, and behavioral disturbances.
- Counseling Psychologists – These are mental health professionals who provide counseling sessions to people going through any physical, mental and emotional issues and help them to improve their sense of well-being and help in reducing their distress.
- Psychotherapists – These are professionals who treat mental disorders with the help of therapies and not medications.
- Private Psychologists – These are the ones who practice their clinical psychology in a private setting.
- Rehabilitation Psychologists – These are professionals who help people who have any disabilities this can be due to any injury or chronic health conditions. They work in rehabilitation centers.
Clinical Psychology is one the old oldest, most challenging, and yet interesting fields of psychology. Anyone who wants to enter this field can make a good career out of it all it needs interest, passion, and commitment to the subject. It is one of the most fulfilling careers both in terms of satisfaction and in terms of money. However, the process to become a clinical psychologist takes time and commitment but the result is rewarding.