Becoming a clinical psychologist can take you on a tough but gratifying and rewarding path. They provide people treatment for behavioral, emotional, and mental health issues.
Clinical psychologists use analysis, observation, and communication to examine feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. According to a 2019 survey, there has been a 20% increase in the number of people going to a clinical psychologist in the last five years.
People increasingly recognize the need for and importance of a clinical psychologist. Stigmas regarding therapy are slowly being tackled, but there is still a long way to go. Here are some things you need to know before you think about becoming a clinical psychologist.
Obtaining a Bachelor’s degree
Clinical psychologists are licensed psychologists who start with their career path by finishing an undergraduate degree with a psychology specialization.
One can choose one of these two pathways for becoming a clinical psychologist; going for a Master’s degree and then a Doctorate, or going straight for a Doctorate after completing their undergraduate degree. You can check out the courses listed at https://www.bestpsychologydegrees.com/ to find the different courses available for you.
Students are required to take specific subjects such as Research Methodology, behavioral statistics, and abnormal psychology to meet the prerequisites of applying for a Doctoral degree.
Completing a Doctoral degree
Once you are finished with your Bachelor’s or Master’s, you can choose between applying for a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) or a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). It is important to understand the difference between both of these. Psy.D. prepares a student for the practice of psychology, specifically in clinical settings. This is more of an applied study since they focus less on research and more on practice.
A Ph.D. is focused extensively on research, helping students get jobs as junior research fellows and even in clinical settings. A Ph.D. takes more time to finish than a Psy.D. degree, but any path can be chosen in order to qualify as a clinical psychologist.
Field experience is necessary
Many schools offer their students postdoctoral fellowships that can help them provide clinical services to people under supervision. Field experience is necessary to be a qualified clinical psychologist. Usually, around 3,000 hours of supervised practice are needed, which takes a year or two to complete.
Clinical psychologists are licensed by the American Psychological Association (APA). The APA checks to see if the applicant has completed all prerequisites and is eligible for being licensed. Students are also required to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology. Licensing is needed to minimize ethical problems that may come up about a certain clinical psychologist’s qualification. APA regulations are set to prevent these ethical issues from emerging.
The world definitely needs more clinical psychologists today. There is an increasing understanding among people about the importance of mental health. It takes certain skill sets and determination to choose a career path that revolves around helping people. Use these points to understand how to become a clinical psychologist.