What Does a Clinical Psychologist Do?

Many times, it happens that we are confused, depressed, unhappy, aimless, or stressed. Be it poor academic performance, peer pressure, break up, fight with parents, death of a loved one, divorce, or just about anything that puts us in some highly unwanted situations. And many times, it is difficult to handle, face, or cope with such challenging situations. At such times, all we probably need is some support and guidance to come back to normal. Clinical psychologists are nothing but the professionals who help us in these difficult times when we are lost and need some direction in life. The primary job of clinical psychologists is to help people help themselves. They are essentially counselors who assist clients in solving their psychological problems.

Clinical Psychologist: Duties and Responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities of clinical psychologists generally depend on the kind of setting they are working in and the type of patients they deal with. For example, the duties of those working with kids are different from those working at drug rehabilitation centers. But there are certain core tasks that are generally common to all. They are as follows.

  • Interviewing the clients or having a dialog with the clients or patients in order to understand their needs and requirements.
  • Understanding and assessing the behavior, attitude, and abilities of a client, using different psychological tests.
  • In case of a patient with neurological problems, a clinical psychologist has to incorporate various psychometric tests and methods to improve his/her condition.
  • After the right diagnosis of the problem, a clinical psychologist has to design and implement certain behavior modification programs for each patient.
  • He has to devise the appropriate treatment or therapy for the smooth recovery of the patient.
  • He also has to observe, monitor, and test the appropriate therapy for its effectiveness, and has to keep a record of the progress of the client or patient.
  • A clinical psychologist also has to maintain accounts of clients in order to keep the complete track record.
  • Preparing the case paper of each client with all the details of his problems, background, medical condition, etc.
  • Conducting routine therapy sessions, such as, psychoanalysis or psychotherapy, etc., can also be the part of the job.
  • He has to work in sync with other medical professionals, such as, social workers, doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, and occupational therapists.
  • They also have to deal with the loved ones or parents and relatives of the patients, in order to understand the problems of the patients and to provide guidance to the caregivers.
  • In an academic setting, he also has to conduct various research studies on mental and psychological problems.

The job may seem tiring and emotionally exhausting, but it is also very challenging, as they get a chance to deal with new patients with unique problems, for which they have to design and come up with apt solutions, which also provides one with job satisfaction. Apart from job satisfaction, clinical psychologists also make some good money. The starting salary of clinical psychologists is around $50,000, and with experience the income increases.

However, becoming a clinical psychologist is also very challenging, as one needs to have an exceptionally good academic background, which requires a lot of hard work and dedication.