Have you ever wondered why someone studies so hard to become a clinical psychologist? What makes this field so interesting to some people? Even more importantly, how can clinical psychology help me? Below, we explore these topics with some insights provided by the professionals of Lionheart Psychology Group.
What is clinical psychology?
Clinical psychology is a wide-ranging branch of psychology. It focuses on diagnosing disorders of mental, emotional and behavioural health. In essence, it provides an understanding of human mental processes and behaviour. Some of the types of conditions treated by a clinical psychologist include:
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Learning disabilities
- Substance abuse
- Eating disorders
- Marital difficulties or couples’ conflicts
Really, with all of the stress we all experience in the fast-moving modern world, anyone can benefit from this type of psychological counselling. In fact, there are more
Students can study psychology as part of most college majors. They do not necessarily need to go into a clinical psychologist’s role after doing so by following a more intensive study path. Studying this interesting science can help workers across just about any field without being in a clinical setting. However, becoming a clinical practitioner requires specific coursework, training and continuing education in addition to regional licensing and certifications.
What does a clinical psychologist do?
A clinical psychologist’s main objective for any patient is to help them live a happier, healthier life. This goal is achieved through the diagnosis of existing mental, emotional and behavioural disorders. It also involves the use of prevention measures, assessments and treatment methods to solve complex problems. Today’s psychologists are expected to use a wide array of approaches and techniques to help promote their patients’ general health and well-being.
These clinical service providers are not just therapists. They are also researchers, integrated healthcare providers, teachers, consultants, program developers, evaluators and public policy workers. But most visible to the public are the professional counsellors working within a patient treatment setting. These settings are also diverse, including private practices, state hospitals, public health programs and social service organizations.
Who do clinical psychologists treat?
Beyond where they work and their role, clinical psychologists may choose to specialize in the treatment of patients with specific mental, behavioural or emotional health issues. They can choose to focus on patients with short-term problems, such as relationship struggles, stress or life coaching needs. Or, they can focus on more complex chronic conditions like depression, anxiety, addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Some clinical psychologists choose specific age groups or other demographics for their work. These groups can include youth, couples, families, people of specific races or ethnicities, LGBTQ+ patients or older adults. They can also choose to work in specific communities, such as the community around them at large or marginalized and vulnerable populations.
Research-Based and Ever-Changing Field
As you can see from all of the above possible differentiators for clinical psychologists, who they care for and the conditions they treat, there are many directions such a career can go. The broad field is most interesting because it offers so much diversity and continues to evolve over time. This evolution is largely related to findings of ongoing research and treatment methods. Clinical psychologists are invaluable in the services they perform, particularly toward helping people live happier and healthier lives.
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