Clinical psychologists trained to carry out detailed and in-depth assessments. They test personal history, current, and past relationships and present circumstances to diagnosis the disorder.
What is Clinical Psychology?
Psychology is the science and theory of our normal cognitive (mental) processes. It concerned with understanding how and why we think, feel and behave as we do.
Clinical psychology is the application of this science to clinical issues. It is the way we use our normal cognitive processes to cope with abnormal or less than ideal events and circumstances in our lives. When faced with extreme events, our cognitive processes affect or become distorted, leading to emotional distress and psychological problems.
Psychological problems can occur at any stage in our lives and for many different reasons. The consequences of such problems vary in intensity but can be quite incapacitating and disrupt the way we function in daily life.
This information leads both you and your psychologist to gain a full understanding of how and why the problem developed and why it continues. This is a psychological formulation. It is drawn up in the form of a diagram or it may be a written or verbal description of how different factors combine to cause the problem. Each person’s formulation is individual and unique to them.
The psychological formulation will then help to define the most appropriate form of talking therapy to address the problem and enable you to find an effective solution.
What Clinical Psychologists do?
The study of clinical psychology prepares one to work individually and in group settings. Usually, clinical psychologists are most likely to be involved in providing counseling and therapy services to a variety of clients. Clinical psychologists work in the advanced sector of mental health.
In this field, psychology practitioners can work with a variety of clients from children to adults, mentally healthy to mentally ill, and so on, and clinical psychologist’s salary can vary greatly.
Clinical psychology is often intermingled with counseling psychology, allowing clinical psychology professionals to have a very direct impact on their target population, helping them to examine their behaviors and life situations in an effort to improve life quality or solve specific issues.
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Where do Clinical Psychologists Work?
Professionals holding a degree in psychology or clinical psychology, with a desire to work in the field of clinical psychology, have a wide variety of options available. Clinical psychologists are sought after in hospitals, physician’s offices, and other mental health centers.
They are often employed in substance abuse programs, correctional facilities, law enforcement, and government agencies, academic institutions and a variety of other private and public organizations.
Over a third of counseling psychologists are self-employed in private counseling practice. Many are adjunct faculty or full-time instructors, while still others conduct research, resulting in books and articles.
How to Become a Clinical Psychologist?
Degrees in psychology offered at the bachelors’ degree level, but rarely is a specialty in clinical psychology available at this level. While a bachelors’ degree in general psychology can be sufficient for some low-level research and counseling assistant positions, a Master’s or doctoral degree is necessary to truly establish one’s self in the field.
Those with a Master’s degree or higher can engage in self-employed professional practice, or joint practice, or serve at any variety of mental health organizations or other businesses. PhDs are most sought after and most highly compensated.
Clinical Psychologists Salary: How Much do Clinical Psychologists Make?
An established clinical psychologist can expect to earn a mean income in the mid $60,000 range. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, half of all practicing clinical psychologists earn between $48,000 and $82,000 a year. The most profitable 10% can earn upwards of $108,000 a year. Of all the psychology specialties, clinical psychologists currently enjoy the highest average income.
Those who engage heavily in research can have a widely variable income, depending upon the number and types of research grants they are able to procure and how much they pay for publishing.
Book authors can earn royalties from $5,000 to $50,000 a year, even more; textbook authors can find a lucrative, captive audience, though breaking into textbook publication is challenging. Counseling jobs working in the public or private sector can start as low as $25,000 for social work positions but go up to $98,000, even more, for tenured faculty positions or jobs with prominent companies.
Clinical psychology salary can vary. Many self-employed counselors earn upwards of $100,000 a year, however, this is not necessarily common.
Those who do earn the highest salaries tend to have various accreditations in addition to the Ph.D. or PsyD, including state licensure and certifications or license from other psychological institutions and organizations.
Adding additional certifications and degrees, such as a specialty in forensic psychology or child psychology, can make a professional more sought after and thus able to earn more money. Of course, experience is also important.
The more years experience one has in the field, and the more publication and research credits they have, the more jobs are available and at higher pay.