Dr. Ray’s Answer
I was in private practice for 34 years and did both psychological testing and therapy.
I evaluated criminal defendants' competence to stand trial and sanity at the time of the offense, parents and children in contested divorce and custody cases, children for learning and attention problems and applicants for Social Security Disability.
On the therapy side I saw children and adults for problems such as depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress and dissociative disorders such as multiple personality disorder, now known as dissociative disorder. I have colleagues who do neuropsychological assessments of people suspected of brain dysfunction, marriage counseling, therapy with substance abuse issues,therapy for gender identity issues, and I could list more.
Obviously no one could do all of these but the range of issues is enormous. If you have a basic interest in the field you will never be bored!
Dr. Ray recommends the following next steps:
- The American Psychological Association's web site has some information about clinical speccialties at www.apa.org/careers
K. Michie Harriss’s Answer
One of the nice things about being a clinical psychologist is you can specialize within a very wide range of presenting problems, age ranges, and other patient or client variables. I worked mostly in child and family clinic settings, so the problems usually were about a child's behavior, such as not getting along with others, difficulty learning in school, breaking rules, etc., or their feelings, such as anxiety or depression. Because young people are constantly maturing and developing physically, mentally, and socially, the kinds of problems they tend to have are different in different age-ranges.