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Clinical Psychologist Job Description

Gagan Dhillon
A clinical psychologist is a specialist who deals with mental and emotional disorders. One of the most sought-after professions right now. If you want a career in a field where you can make a real difference in someone's life, then becoming a clinical psychologist could be just right for you.
Do you like interacting with people? Do you possess good communication skills and have the ability to relate and empathize with others? How about active listening skills? Are you brave enough to guide another person going through a difficult phase in his/her life to have an optimistic outlook?
There are times when one is faced with a situation or some circumstances when the comforting hugs and conversation with friends and family don't seem to solve the problem. This is when a psychologist lends his ears to that problem. Clinical psychologists are trained for this kind of work.
A clinical psychologist's job description requires him to look into matters objectively and to treat the person accordingly. The journey to become a clinical psychologist is a tough and challenging one which requires lot of dedication and hard work.
Clinical psychologists' day would consist of meeting clients, having psychotherapy sessions with them, listening to their ills and woes without being judgmental and giving them the right treatment.
Clinical psychologists must be skilled to listen well and catch the undercurrent of the conversation and diagnose the problem. They also have to discuss the available methods of treatment with the patient. They work with institutes like schools, social service departments and hospitals.
Before getting into the careers in clinical psychology, you must know that to become a clinical psychologist, one must be a sound person who can think objectively and not be biased.

Educational Requirements

A clinical psychologist has to train and sharpen his skills, before he takes the responsibility of another person's life in his own hands. He has to possess good analytical abilities, excellent communication, and people management skills. He should also have good-natured tolerance and understand the body language.
  • There are various colleges and universities that provide degrees in psychology.
  • A Bachelor's degree holder gets to work as an assistant with correctional facilities.
  • He has to put in around 5 to 7 years into graduation studies and complete a lot of practical work and excel in numerous examinations.
  • Individuals with a Master's in psychology work as school councilors or usually work under a Ph.D. holder.
  • A year's internship is a must to become a clinical psychologist.
  • A Ph.D. holder usually works with institutes like schools, mental institutions and contributes to teaching and research.
  • To open a private practice, a doctorate is a must. The psychologist must also be certified or licensed.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • The duties and responsibilities of a clinical psychologist require him/her to put in minimum of 40 hours of work a week.
  • The job also requires him to keep abreast with the latest changes in the field of psychology and maintain a detailed account of the clients' needs, abilities and behavior.
  • He has to also meet, advise and help clients recover from various problems such as depression, addiction, anxiety, neurological disorders or learning disabilities.
  • He must give sound advice and respect professional secrecy at all times, while dealing with his clients.
  • As mentioned earlier, a psychologist has to talk and listen to patients who are suffering setbacks in their lives due to psychological issues that are troubling them. These can include anything -- stress, schizophrenia, eating disorders, marriage to divorce-related issues.
  • Clinical psychologists provide individual or group psychotherapy and help mentally or emotionally challenged people to settle back into the society. They conduct various surveys, tests to understand and study/modify the behavior of the individual.
Clinical psychologists earn well and lead a comfortable lifestyle. While an entry level clinical psychologist earns between US$43,066 and US$94,085; a well-established clinical psychologist easily earns more than US$90,000 annually. Those working at hospitals earn about US$75,000 and those working with correctional facilities earn about US$63,000 annually.
After reading this, you must have realized that this profession requires serious commitment and a heart that is willing to listen and help without being affected by what is being discussed. For this, emotional detachment from the patient is required in this job.
If this is your calling, then follow it with all your passion. Years down the line, you will be a satisfied human being who must have achieved what you had set your heart on. Here's wishing you the best in your pursuit.