If you are the one who wants to help people and too much into the working mechanism of human mind then career in clinical psychology would suit you. Clinical psychologist gets certain education that enables them to help their patients in various ways. Some of those ways are helping them to make changes, making them be more resilient, help them in developing strengths for better navigation of life, and giving them therapies for different mental conditions. The field of clinical psychology gives you other opportunities too. Those opportunities are deciding to begin your own private practice, work for a school, hospital or any other such setting, in fact, it includes opportunity that you will enjoy. If you think this career path will work for you then going for it will be the best.
However, the point of concern is how to become a clinical psychologist?
So this article is all about it. Give it a thorough read to understand most of the things about this career opportunity.
Studying Clinical Psychology
Going for clinical psychology for studying is a great way for you to begin your career in it. Clinical psychologists gets special training to make them enable for diagnosing and treating several mental, behavioral and emotional issues. Instead of using medication, clinical psychologist have to follow techniques and therapies to help the patient improve their mental condition. Alongside treating patients, clinical psychologist also get into researching and testing projects and they can also go for teaching psychology in educational institutes.
The American Psychological Association mentioned that, clinical psychologist have plenty of options to choose for their career. Some may go for treating issues like a chronic condition, stress, anxiety, etc. Some may go for opening their own private practices or they can get into proper settings like schools, hospitals, military, court, etc. Moreover, psychologists also have an option to begin working with particular populations like trauma survivors, veterans, and kids.
Beginning your own private practice has its own perks. It opens you to enjoy your own autonomy in comparison to that you would work in a group. It allows you to set your own schedule, let you decide the location of your practice and determining the specialty of your practice. Actually, there is a deal of pride that goes with you when you begin your own practice and getting in charge of your own business is mind freeing thing.
How much longer it needs to be a Clinical Psychologist?
As long as a clinical psychologist requires special training and makes sure to meet various educational requirements so it takes a long time to be one. To become a clinical psychologist you need an undergraduate and doctorate degree. Most probably, these programs take 8 to 12 years to accomplish according to the certain program you are in and doing it full time or on a part-time basis.
Education requirements for Clinical Psychologist
The American Psychological Association mentioned that a clinical psychologist should have following education to practice their career;
- Undergraduate degree
- Master’s degree
- Doctoral degree
- Training and licensing
Steps to become a Clinical Psychologist
For sure every journey is different for different careers and here are the common steps you need to follow to become a clinical psychologist.
1. Get a bachelor’s degree
Most clinical psychologist start by getting their bachelor’s degree in psychology. This is the basic point that prepares you for the further degrees you need to pursue. Some of the graduate programs need a bachelor’s degree in psychology and the rest may be open for bachelor’s degree in other programs. Getting in a program in psychology means that you will become able to select from a wide selection of degree programs for masters in comparison to majoring in any other field.
2. Get a master’s degree
When the point is about getting a master’s degree in clinical psychology then you just have a few choices. You have a possibility to complete your master’s degree and then get into the doctoral program of clinical psychology. Also, you will be able to get into an undergraduate program that ends up with a master’s degree so you will be graduated quicker and then begin your doctoral program. Some of the doctoral programs also enables you to get directly into it without your master’s degree.
3. Get a doctoral degree
Usually, doctoral degree programs take 5 to 7 years to complete according to the program and its demands. You need to be prepared to write and defend a dissertation. Most of the programs end with a detailed examination that you need to pass for getting your degree. Also, it is a common thing for a doctoral program in clinical psychology to get a one year internship program.
4. Get training for being a licensed Clinical Psychologist
Most of the states only demand the clinical psychologist who are licensed, mentioned in the reports of BLS i.e. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The requirements for licensing varies according to your states and the type of position. Most of the states demand a clinical psychologist to meet the following requirements;
- Must have a doctorate in psychology
- Completed an internship
- At least have 1 to 2 years of professional experience under supervision
- Have passed the examination for professional practice in psychology
As you get your license, most likely you still need to take educational courses for renewing that license all through your career.
Courses in Clinical Psychology
The bachelor’s program of Psychology curricula initiated students to a few basic topics like personality psychology, psychological testing, and behavioral neuroscience. Some programs allows the students to specialize in selecting certain courses that focuses in the method, field, or context of the particular interest.
Typically, the bachelor’s program of psychology covers the requirements that are important for graduation in psychology. The group work, labs, projects, and internship enables the students to pursue certain clinical skills in alliance building, diagnosis, interviewing, and treatment planning. The majors of psychology also learns the way to locate, critically analyze and write about psychological research studies.
Take a look below, mentioning some sample courses with description that may be a part of undergraduate or graduate program in clinical psychology.
1. Advanced cognition
This is the course that examines the cognitive process of humans that includes thinking and language, learning and memory and perception and attention. The content of course includes major cognition research findings and theories. Typically the students’ complete labs and research projects on it. This course, advance cognition makes the clinical psychologist prepared to assess and respond to patients having cognitive issues.
2. Adult psychopathology
This course includes going through past and present theory, researches, and treatment for adult psychopathy. Alongside, it explores mental illness with personality disorder and psychosis. This course enables the student to analyze, diagnose and treat various kinds of mental disorders.
3. Clinical interviewing
This course includes the training of students in methods and techniques for interviewing a wide range of populations in several different contexts and situations. The content of this course covers most of the psychotherapeutic interviewing models. The students get to know the way to perform effective intake and assessments interviews alongside the way to select certain interview methods. Also, this course teaches techniques about establishing a safe, comfy, and supportive environment and creating therapeutic alliances with the patients.
4. Psychodynamic theory
In this course, students get to know about psychodynamic approach theories and practices like psychoanalysis, drive psychology, ego psychology, and relational psychology. The content of the course includes clinical components letting the students to apply the concepts, theories, and treating methods of psychoanalysis.
5. Social psychology
This is getting to know about the effect of social context on human behavior and psychology. The course of social psychology includes examining the phenomena like gender roles, group behavior, altruism, stereotyping. This course of social psychology aspires the clinical psychologist to have a better understanding and to respond to the behavior of patients according to their social environment.
There are a great deal of option to pursue a career in clinical psychology that includes establishing your own private practice and going for a job in certain institutions. You need to know what your mind is actually about and go for it certainly if you are into human mind and behavior. Psychology is vast and gives you a lot of options to choose from. If you feel a confusion in between you can eventually change the option as there are loads.