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What type of work would a person who has a Clinical Psychology Degree be doing?

I am interested in majoring in Psychology but I am not sure if I want to do Psychology, General or a more specific branch such a Growth and Development or Clinical #psychology #clinical-psychology #therapists #social-psychology #child-psychology #school-psychology #moral-psychology

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Dr. Ray’s Answer

Dear Dorian,


Clinical psychologists specialize in diagnosing and treating psychological problems. They do not prescribe medications (that is what psychiatrists do) but use "talk therapy" and other behavioral methods to help people deal with such issues as anxiety, depression. post traumatic stress, learning problems, etc. To be licensed as a psychologist requires a doctoral degree and a one year internship, so it requires some commitment. Most university psychology departments have more specific information about their programs.


Good luck in your career pursuits.


Ray Finn, Ph.D.

Thank you comment icon Does diagnosing and treating always go hand-in-hand? I am under the impression that psychologists do more diagnosing and "talk therapy," whereas therapists are more focused on a directed treatment plan. Is that true? Nora
Thank you comment icon thank you i think its true shaheen
Thank you comment icon You are welcome! Dr. Ray Finn
Thank you comment icon It all depends on what setting you are working in and what type of license you have at the master's level. A counselor with an independent license can also diagnose. And most psychologists also do talk-therapy. Depending on the setting, it may be that psychologists do more testing and report writing and counselors do more of the therapy. Jeanne Miller
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Christopher’s Answer

The type of work you would be doing with a degree in clinical psychology varies. You could work as a therapist , researcher or a professor. Depending on your interests, this can affect where you work and which setting you work in.
For me, I have clinical experience working in a mental health facility. I enjoy it immensely and rewarded when I can help a patient with any issue.
Clinical psychology is a great field and I think having a career in it is good that you're considering it as a profession.

Thank you comment icon thank you! shaheen
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Dr. Ray’s Answer

Dear Nora,


You are correct that diagnosis and treatment are not always done by the same person. Since psychologists do psychological testing they are often asked to evaluate individuals they do not treat. In my case I performed many evaluations for agencies such as the juvenile court and Social Security disability where I was asked for diagnostic information and treatment recommendations only.


I probably should have defined the term "talk therapy" better. I meant it to include any method that relies on interacting with clients, usually verbally, to induce change. This is something a lot of mental health professionals do, including psychologists, professional counselors, marriage and family therapists and others. You are also correct that anyone doing therapy should develop and follow a treatment plan for each client.


I hope this clarifies things a bit.


Ray Finn, Ph.D.

Thank you comment icon Thanks for the clarification! That's very helpful. Nora
Thank you comment icon You are welcome! Dr. Ray Finn
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