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5 Career Settings for a Clinical Psychologist

5 Career Opportunities for a Clinical Psychologist

  • Clinical Setting
  • Sports Therapy Setting
  • Military Setting
  • Legal Setting
  • Research Facility

When we hear the title “clinical psychologist” we tend to picture a psychologist working in a clinical setting, such as a hospital or clinic, yet there are other career settings in clinical psychology. Clinical psychologists have been in demand in recent years because more people are choosing to seek help for their problems. Additionally, employers, schools and government agencies are also using clinical psychologists to help their employees or students work through their problems. Here are 5 career settings in clinical psychology.

Clinical Setting

Clinical psychologists are highly-trained professionals who may be self-employed or may work in hospitals, clinics or mental health facilities. They diagnose and treat patients with emotional, mental and behavioral disorders. Their patients may have issues resulting from short-term persona issues to serious, chronic conditions. The treatment that clinical psychologists provide depends on the problem and the patient. Clinical psychologists provide diagnostic tests, design behavior modification programs and consult with other health professionals to discuss the best treatment for the problems. They work with individuals, couples and groups. In some states, they can prescribe medication.

Sports Therapy Setting

With the wide emphasis on exercise and sporting events today, sports psychologists are widely used to help athletes deal with not just physical but also emotional and mental issues. Sports psychology involves extensive training and education because it involves various other fields, including kinesiology, biomechanics and general psychology. Sporting psychologists assess the relationship between human psychology and athletic performance and use their knowledge to help enhance the athlete’s performance. They work one-on-one with the athlete and provide them with counseling and therapy when needed.

Military Setting

Providing months and years of active military service can be very hard not just on the enlisted person but also on their loved ones. Recent studies have shown that most enlisted women and men are affected by some kind of emotional or mental disorder. Whether it’s actually being part of the military, serving in a combat zone, or just being separated from family, the military life can be very hard on people, and they often are in need of the services provided by a military psychologist. The military psychologist may have his or her own practice or may work on base. They evaluate military personnel and their families, evaluate and treat their issues and offer counseling. Each branch of the military usually has its own psychologist available.

Legal Setting

The legal field is yet another of the many career settings in clinical psychology. The fields of law and psychology often intertwine because they apply aspects of both fields to answer questions or deal with issues related to the legal system. Clinical psychologists working in a legal setting may contribute to various areas within a legal system, including public policies, research, clinical practice and training. Mental health professionals have been involved with the legal system for many years, which is the main reason why the American Board of Forensic Psychology was established. There are several subspecialties within the legal area of clinical psychology.

  • Clinical-forensic psychologist
  • Developmental psychologist
  • Social psychologist
  • Cognitive psychologist
  • Community psychologist

Research Facility

Doctoral degrees in clinical psychology are consist of either a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) or a Ph.D. in Psychology. Graduates of the Psy.D. program generally find work in a clinical setting while graduates of the Ph.D. program choose careers in research. Clinical psychologists are often thought of working in a clinical or medical setting visiting with patients although much of their work involves research. Clinical psychology research is every bit as important for the health and well-being of our nation as medical research or actual medical practice. Medical researchers study ways to treat a patient with physical issues, and clinical psychology researchers research studies to treat not only patients but also families, couples and communities with psychological issues. Their work involves assessing a patient, acknowledging the patient’s needs and researching the best way to treat him or her.

The 2016-2026 decade is expected to offer a job growth of 14 percent for clinical psychologists according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The fact that the services of clinical psychologists are needed in almost every area of our lives is what keeps this career field growing. Learning about the various career settings in clinical psychology make it easier for aspiring clinical psychologists to choose the area they’ll find most rewarding and fulfilling.

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