Frequently Asked Questions About Clinical Psychology

It has been proven repeatedly that people do not think of common occupations until they need to choose among them. When I went to college, I did not even know half of the possible jobs that I could have if I chose to major in this or that subject matter. And there I thought that I was 100% ready to have a full-time career. After a while, though, I decided to take up psychology. That’s when I realized that the said idea might be truer in this field than anywhere else.

Why, may you ask? The reason is that the branches of psychology tend to come by the dozen. You will not see them in your curriculum at once or when you are still trying to get your bachelor’s degree, of course. You’d think that it’s all you got to study – or at least that’s what I thought. After receiving my diploma, I had the harsh realization that I needed to specialize in one field of psychology if I wanted to be more than a school counselor. While there is nothing wrong with that occupation, it’s not my dream. Hence, I looked at all my choices carefully.

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The first one was neuropsychology. It would have been nice, but it meant getting stuck in a lab most days. I could also do evolution psychology, but it was such a controversial area. I thought of becoming an industrial-organizational psychologist, yes, but then I would have to deal with various employees every day.

If you might notice, clinical psychology was not my top choice. That’s mere because most of my classmates wanted to become a clinical psychologist, and I did not want to ride the tide. However, I eventually understood its appeal and ended up focusing on it.

Now, allow me to answer some frequently asked questions related to it:

What do psychologists do?

Psychologists are the type of mental health professionals who can help you understand why people think, act, or feel a certain way. They spend months or years assessing individuals’ individuals’ train of thoughts and behaviors and eventually interpreting them for the benefit of all.

What are some benefits of being a psychologist?

One of the primary benefits of being a psychologist is that you can help anyone to understand themselves, particularly their emotions and thoughts that they may not have always had. You know the studies and principles at the core level, so it will also be effortless to explain the circumstance to the patients’ loved ones without confusing them further.

On a personal level, being a psychologist means you may assess a person’s intentions better than a non-professional. It will be tough for anyone to deceive you since you can read and interpret their actions and expressions with ease.

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What is the main focus of clinical psychology?

Clinical psychology’s primary focus is to evaluate, understand, and diagnose a person’s mental and behavioral illnesses.

What do you learn in health psychology?

Health psychology talks about the effects of a person’s behavior, emotions, and way of thinking about their physical health. Many people do not realize that our physical and mental health are connected – any mental issue you have may manifest in your body. It is evident in people with depression who also experience muscle pain, sleeplessness, etc.

What are the responsibilities of a clinical psychologist?

A clinical psychologist is the professional to call when you show the possible signs of depression. They will conduct psychological evaluations, interpret the results, and connect with psychiatrists if need be.

Clinical psychologists usually focus on a single mental issue. Say, if it’s substance abuse, they study addiction and treatment exclusively. That will allow them to introduce therapy and counseling to patients expertly.

How does Clinical Psychology benefit society?

Many people suffer from mental health problems without them knowing what’s wrong with them. Sometimes, they feel moody, stressed, anxious, and depressed; other times, they hear voices in their heads, making them want to take their own lives.

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Clinical psychology benefits society by putting professionals up to enlighten such people about mental disorders that they may have. They can visit a clinical psychologist’s office to get assessed, diagnosed, and perhaps even treated. Although most mental health conditions have no cure, knowing what it is and how to reverse it will work wonders for the patient’s recovery.

How do clinical psychologists treat their patients?

Clinical psychologists obtain additional education and training to perform various types of therapy. E.g., cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectic behavior therapy, psychoanalytic therapy, and many more. That is how they treat their patients. It is only when none of the sessions work that they refer the patients to a psychiatrist.

Is there a difference between a psychologist and a clinical psychologist?

Yes, there is a difference between a clinical psychologist and a psychologist. The latter studies assess and interpret a person’s feelings, thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. People go to them when they get overwhelmed by stress, fatigue, grief, etc.

On the other hand, a clinical psychologist can also do all of that, but they mostly deal with mental health disorders. E.g., anxiety, depression, personality disorders, and many more.

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Is a psychologist better than a therapist?

This question cannot be directly answered by yes or no. A psychologist may be better because they spend their professional years understanding human behaviors, thoughts, and emotions. This is their field of expertise; that’s why they can recommend proper treatment or therapy to the patients.

Consequently, a therapist’s edge over a psychologist is that they are experts in different fields. For instance, medical doctors, life coaches, and social workers can turn into therapists. When they meet a client, they can apply their know-how and other professional experiences to help them get better.

Do clinical psychologists give therapy?

Yes, clinical psychologists provide therapy to their patients. The form of treatment they give depends on their chosen expertise. If it’s cognitive-behavioral therapy, for example, that’s what they only focus on.

Final Thoughts

After practicing clinical psychology for approximately five years now, I can say that I have made the right career choice. It had not been easy to get my name out there when I initially opened my clinic, yes. I struggled to gain the trust of the people who ended up at my doorstep, yes. But when the first clients saw the positive changes in their lives under my care, I earned everyone’s respect as the town’s clinical psychologist.