Clinical and Counseling Psychologists

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Also known as:
Child Psychologist, Child Psychometrist, Clinical Psychologist, Eating Disorder Psychologist, Educational Psychologist, Geropsychologist, Pediatric Psychologist, School Psychologist, School Psychometrist, Vocational Psychologist

ABOUT CLINICAL AND COUNSELING PSYCHOLOGIST CAREERS
Video transcript

Helping people succeed in school and personal life is the work of clinical, counseling, and school psychologists. Clinical psychologists help people resolve short-term personal issues or cope with severe, chronic mental illness. They start by assessing and diagnosing a person's condition, then choose the most effective treatment to offer whether it's individual, family, or group psychotherapy, or a behavior modification program. Clinical psychologists may specialize in working with a certain age group, or in treating certain types of disorders. Counseling psychologists help their clients deal with issues at home, in their career, at school, or in their communities. After interviewing clients and gathering their history, a counseling psychologist works to help them understand the underlying dynamics of problems in their lives, identify coping strategies, set goals, and create an action plan to meet them. They work with families, groups, and individuals. School psychologists help students succeed in their personal development and at school. They may diagnose learning or behavior issues, and design performance plans to help students thrive. School psychologists counsel students and families, and also work with teachers and school staff to improve teaching, learning, and administrative methods. School psychologists need an advanced degree, usually the education specialist degree, and certification or licensure. Some school psychologists have a master's or doctoral degree in school psychology. Most clinical and counseling psychologists need a doctorate in psychology, an internship, and a period of supervised professional experience. They must also pass a national exam.

SNAPSHOT

Assess, diagnose, and treat mental and emotional disorders of individuals through observation, interview, and psychological tests. Help individuals with distress or maladjustment understand their problems through their knowledge of case history, interviews with patients, and theory. Provide individual or group counseling services to assist individuals in achieving more effective personal, social, educational, and vocational development and adjustment. May design behavior modification programs and consult with medical personnel regarding the best treatment for patients.

Daily tasks

Provide occupational, educational, or other information to individuals so that they can make educational or vocational plans.

Observe individuals at play, in group interactions, or in other contexts to detect indications of mental deficiency, abnormal behavior, or maladjustment.

Select, administer, score, and interpret psychological tests to obtain information on individuals' intelligence, achievements, interests, or personalities.

Provide consulting services, including educational programs, outreach programs, or prevention talks to schools, social service agencies, businesses, or the general public.

Evaluate the effectiveness of counseling or treatments and the accuracy and completeness of diagnoses, modifying plans or diagnoses as necessary.

Use a variety of treatment methods, such as psychotherapy, hypnosis, behavior modification, stress reduction therapy, psychodrama, or play therapy.

Consult with other professionals, agencies, or universities to discuss therapies, treatments, counseling resources or techniques, and to share occupational information.

Counsel individuals, groups, or families to help them understand problems, deal with crisis situations, define goals, and develop realistic action plans.

Refer clients to other specialists, institutions, or support services as necessary.

Advise clients on how they could be helped by counseling.

Consult with or provide consultation to other doctors, therapists, or clinicians regarding patient care.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Coaching and Developing Others Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Therapy and Counseling Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Sociology and Anthropology Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Philosophy and Theology Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
TOP SKILLS
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.