Anyone who offers clinical counselling services to the public can claim to be a clinical psychologist. That is because the term ‘clinical psychologist‘ is legally permitted to define many such counselling professionals, such as psychiatrists, social workers and pastors. However, people often think of clinical psychologists as only the ones who can employ talk therapy in order to help people with serious mental disorders. This popular misconception may have come about due to the fact that some clinical psychologists are trained in several different aspects of mental health care, including psychoanalysis, developmental psychology and marriage and family therapy. Others are trained in cognitive behavioural therapy.

Educational and training requirements

For most careers in the health field, a bachelor’s degree is required in order to obtain licensure. You will need to complete a four-year undergraduate course that includes psychology, sociology and human services. Once you have completed your bachelor’s degree, you should pass an exam that consists of both clinical and writing courses. You will also need to obtain specialised licensing in order to become a licensed clinical psychologist. These professionals must successfully pass state board exams and take special licensing examinations that test your knowledge about disorders of the emotional and mental variety.

Internships at local hospitals or clinics

To get started in the career of clinical psychology, you will likely do internships at local hospitals or clinics. This experience will prepare you to enter graduate school and gain experience in the interview process. After completing your internship, you may choose to further your education by getting training at a university that offers psychology degrees.

Master’s degree

There are many factors that determine what is a clinical psychologist? A person seeking a doctorate degree in psychology must meet certain educational and training requirements. Most states require that psychologists obtain at least a bachelor’s degree before they can apply for licensing. Those pursuing doctorate degrees in mental health need to also complete either a four-year or an eight-year degree at an accredited university or college. After a psychologist has obtained his or her master’s degree, they are qualified to apply for state certification.

Doctoral degree 

In many states, a doctoral degree is required for employment as a clinical psychologist. However, it is also possible to get a master’s or doctorate degree from most colleges and universities. Some individuals go on to teach in these schools, and some do research. Whichever avenue you choose, you can be assured that your knowledge and experience will help you find a job in the mental health field. If you are interested in obtaining further training for yourself or your family members, you may be surprised to know that there are online schools available.


A licensed psychologist can take various licensing exams in order to become a certified psychologist. The National Board of Examiners or the GABA provides licensing exams that must be passed before becoming a psychologist. In order to work as a licensed psychologist, you must have a doctoral degree from an accredited university or college. Typically, doctors specialising in social and behavioural disorders qualify for lower-income insurance coverage.

Helps their client manage the symptoms

Most mental health professionals specialise in one area of psychology. These include general practitioners, psychiatrists, psychologists and psychotherapists. Generally, these three professionals work together in order to provide psychological treatment to their clients. Generally, a psychiatrist diagnoses a patient based upon a series of interviews or other diagnostic procedures. Once the diagnosis has been made, a mental health professional helps the client manage the symptoms that accompany mental illness.

Focus primarily on the client’s problem rather than the diagnosis

Counselling psychology is one of the more common specialisations within the field of clinical psychology. This specialisation involves helping individuals cope with a range of emotional issues, such as anxiety, depression and personal loss. Typically, those practising counselling psychology focus on a specific problem in order to help their clients. Counselling psychologists focus primarily on the client’s problem rather than the diagnosis. Some specialise in grief counselling, while others counsel couples struggling with infertility issues.

As a psychologist, therapist or counsellor, your primary focus is to provide emotional and mental health. Most of your time is spent in the psychotherapy or counselling aspect of your practice. However, you may also perform physical therapy on patients with varying illnesses. If you work in hospice, you may also perform physical therapy on patients who are terminally ill.

Career options

Clinical psychologists have many career options available to them. These include working in hospitals, private practices, government agencies and schools. Those who specialise in clinical psychology can also counsel college students, those with developmental disabilities, those with substance abuse problems and the general public. Many psychologists also open private practices. Visit to find out more information.

By Hemant Kumar

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