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What are some important skills needed to be a child psychologist?

Super interested in becoming a child psychologist one day! :)


#psychology #childpsychology #skills

I would say that some important skills to develop when working with children or youth would be active listening. This is a skill that will help you determine what the child's needs are but also so the child that you are taking an active role in their care. Another skill would be self-care. This is a skill that you have to learn to benefit yourself so it can prevent secondary stress, help you realize triggers you may have, as well as making sure that you are assessing your needs to be fully present in a situation. I would recommend that you read Garfats Characteristics of a Relational Child and Youth Care Approach. It's tailored to Child and Youth work and also has 25 characteristics that go into detail about skill to develop and their benefits. julia M.

Thank you very much this is very helpful! Martha S.

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Daniela’s Answer

Hi Martha!!

To become a child psychologist, one will need approximately a decade of schooling.

The process begins with four years of undergraduate studies in psychology. Coursework at the bachelor’s degree level is very wide in scope, with the purpose of introducing students to the basics of psychology as a scientific discipline. Coursework includes general education requirements, such as math, science, and English. Psychology coursework involves studies of statistics and research methods, abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, the psychology of learning, and history and systems of psychology, to name a few.

Typically, to be admitted to an undergraduate program, students must have a high school diploma or equivalency, satisfactory scores on either the ACT or SAT, and a GPA that meets or exceeds the minimum requirement.

Once a bachelor’s degree is obtained, the next step is undertaking graduate studies in psychology. For individuals interested in working as a child psychologist, graduate programs in child psychology, developmental psychology, or school psychology are the most appropriate. These programs usually last two years, if students attend full-time. Admissions requirements vary from institution to institution, but usually students must meet GPA requirements and have an appropriately high score on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Some graduate schools also require students to interview for a spot in the program.

Graduate studies in child psychology focus on helping students develop the skills they need to effectively treat children with social, emotional, behavioral, or psychological issues. Common courses include assessment and diagnosis, individual and group therapy techniques, educational psychology, psychopathology, and quantitative analysis.

Oftentimes, graduate programs will include an internship requirement in which students spend upwards of 1,000 hours in a supervised placement. Placements for prospective child psychologists can be in a variety of settings, including public or private schools, mental health facilities, or juvenile detention centers.

The final step in becoming a child psychologist is to complete a Ph.D. or Psy.D. program in clinical or child psychology. Doctorate-level studies can last between two to five years, depending on the program requirements. Like graduate school, doctoral studies focus heavily on preparing students to work with clients. As such, much initial coursework revolves around developing advanced therapeutic skills and techniques. Much coursework is also dedicated to research, with students typically required to develop and defend a dissertation on a subject of their choice.

Post-doctoral work is a common requirement for Ph.D. and Psy.D. programs. These placements, like those in graduate school, are intended to provide students with extensive practical experience working with child clients. Many states require post-doctoral work for individuals to be eligible for state licensure.

Source: https://www.psychologyschoolguide.net/psychology-careers/child-psychologist/

Good luck and good studies!

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Treasa’s Answer

Child psychologists work for schools, agencies or private practices to offer counseling services for children. A child psychologist has earned a master’s, specialist or doctorate degree in psychology, as well as a license or certification to practice. Working with children in a therapist capacity requires special qualities to foster trust and healing in children. A child psychologist must be adept at addressing many issues, including abuse, trauma, psychological disorders, learning disabilities, special needs and bullying.
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