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Clinical Psychology

What Is Clinical Psychology And How Does It Differ From Other Fields?

Clinical psychology is an important mental health profession in which mental health is promoted and maintained via various methods, including psychological assessment and analysis. Clinical psychologists are trained professionals who are able to offer a variety of services to their patients in order to treat mental and emotional issues.

Clinical psychologists are different from counselors and social workers because they deal primarily with patients who have recognized issues (“clinical” roughly means “dealing with the sick”). They also differ from psychiatrists, as they do not prescribe medicine. A clinical psychologist may treat:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Emotional disorders
  • Mental disorders
  • Any other disease in which psychoanalysis and psychological assessment may be helpful

If you’re looking to find a clinical psychologist or if you’re interested in the field in general, here’s a look at a few things that you should know about this particular field of psychology.

How Clinical Psychologists Treat Patients

The treatment of patients in clinical psychology generally includes an assessment of the patient’s overall mental health in order to determine which specific conditions the patient might have and how best to proceed with treatment.

Clinical psychologists use psychoanalysis as their main tool in alleviating mental distress. Psychoanalysis sessions are designed to provide an open environment for patients in which life problems and situations can be correctly addressed. Clinical psychologists focus on giving the patient better ways to deal with things like stress and anxiety, and may work to find the roots of mental health and emotional problems to keep said problems under control.

This is a simplification of the techniques of clinical psychology, as psychoanalysis is, at its core, a very specific and complex technique. All patients who are considering a clinical psychologist should be sure to check the qualifications of these professionals in order to make an educated decision.

Finding A Clinical Psychologist And Looking For Requirements

A master’s degree is required in order to work as a clinical psychologist. While a bachelor’s degree in sociology or psychology may allow aspiring psychologists to find jobs in certain fields, clinical psychologists which take on patients are expected to have a master’s or even a doctorate, as psychoanalysis and clinical psychological assessment are extremely specific tasks that require a great deal of education in order to be successfully offered to patients. Psychology master’s degrees or doctorates are provided by a number of schools across the United States, but accreditation is absolutely essential for psychology programs in order to ensure the best possible education in a clinical psychologist.

In addition to this, clinical psychologists should be licensed or certified in their state of residence. It is very important to ask about up-to-date licensure when seeking a clinical psychologist. Practicing clinical psychology without a license may be illegal and can lead to serious consequences for patients. States will require testing for their certifications which will assess the clinical psychologist’s ability to successfully treat a wide array of patients, including patients in their specializations (if any).

Patients should ask about the techniques used by clinical psychologists before going to their first sessions. Clinical psychologists will often explain their techniques in order to relieve many of the patient’s fears and anxieties about psychology as a whole and clinical psychology in particular.

Clinical psychology can be expensive, but you can often find psychologists who charge based on income. Some clinical psychologists will even offer low cost or free services to certain patients with serious illnesses.

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