How to Become a Clinical Psychologist: Career Advantages and Scope

How to Become a Clinical Psychologist: Career Advantages and Scope

Career

Clinical psychology has become one of the many prominent positions in today’s time. With the global lockdown due to covid-19, a considerable population is suffering from depression and other psychological problems. So, taking up clinical psychology can be a great option. If you see it as a prospective career option, you should know how to become a clinical psychologist.

Clinical psychology as a career can be highly effective. However, it is necessary to consider its immediate impact. With so many opportunities available in this field, it is essential to understand how it can help you. Before finding out how become a clinical psychologist, you need to ensure that you are prepared for it first.

What is clinical psychology?

Clinical psychology is an umbrella term used to diagnose, assess, and treat mental disorders. Depending on the requirement, the clinical psychologist may either work with an individual or a group. If they are being treated in a group, they must ensure that they share the same disorder. Clinical pharmacologist is one of the most diverse positions.

Every professional institution has a working clinical psychology department. Hence, the clinical psychologist salary is pretty high too. Some of the prominent areas where clinical psychologists are needed include schools, private practices, and hospitals. They are working medical professionals, but they can’t prescribe medicines.

If you want to know how to become a psychologist, make sure to keep reading further. Clinical psychologists need to ensure that they can resolve complex problems efficiently and make patients happy.

Individuals wanting to know how to become a clinical psychologist have to work towards attaining primary goals. No matter how easy this profession sounds, it is not. Becoming a clinical psychologist means dealing with so much around you. Therefore, you need to write reports, do research, and develop the strategies accordingly.

What jobs do you get as a clinical psychologist?

If you want to become a clinical psychologist, you can apply for various jobs. Since the clinical psychologist salary is pretty high, it becomes incredibly convenient in the long run. Moreover, it is a high-paying job that can serve you right in the long run.

There are various employers around who can help you get the clinical psychologist job. Some of the prominent employment options are as follows.

  1. Hospitals
  2. Psychiatric units
  3. Schools
  4. Mental health services
  5. Prisons

How to become a clinical psychologist?

If you want to become a clinical psychologist, you will need to do extensive research. It is crucial to get the required training and certification to become a clinical psychologist. For the basics or initial level, you need to have 2 to 3 levels or one relevant in the field.

Science students get a better preference for psychology. However, it is unnecessary to have Psychology A understand the subject correctly in the initial levels. The requirement for becoming a clinical psychologist will vary depending on the country. Hence, depending on the country you’re applying to for your degree, you need to meet the requirements.

Once you have got your bachelor’s degree, you can proceed to do your postgraduate degree. Apart from that, it is also necessary to start with your training. According to the requirement, you may need to do a three-year doctorate for your clinical psychology degree.

After getting the degree, you will also need to register with a country-specific association. However, before starting your clinical work, you will need to appear for some clinical psychologist training during the postgraduate degree. As per the requirement, you can appear for your training as an assistant psychologist.

Essential skills for becoming a clinical psychologist

If you want to become a clinical psychologist, you will need to have the right skills. As stated above, becoming a clinical psychologist isn’t as easy as it appears to be. It is highly crucial to possess the five essential soft skills.

As a psychologist, you need to deal with people suffering from mental conditions. Therefore, it is crucial to have these soft skills. Some of the essential skills you need to possess are the following:

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Patience

This is the most important criterion for becoming a clinical psychologist. It would help if you were extremely patient with the patients. They are already going through a tough time, so you need to work on getting their trust.

Patience will help to boost the research process and positive progression. However, it is also necessary to note that results will also take time to appear. The psychologist needs to work towards attaining their goal without frustration. Since you may need a long time to get results, make sure that you are patient enough to achieve results.

No one could become patient overnight if you hadn’t been this way ever. Well, becoming a psychologist is all about commitment. Many psychologists also undergo training to learn patience as a skill. Patience is essential if you want to finish your work as a clinical psychologist.

Clinical psychology needs patience

Ethics

Ethics are essential for becoming a clinical psychologist. Not many may pay heed to this, but your ethics are very crucial. Being ethical will play a crucial role in giving your career a significant boost.

As a clinical psychologist, people will reach out to you for consulting. You are the one they will be trusting. Therefore, if you want to achieve your goal, you need to be ethical to have a personal experience.

Psychologists need to have strong ethics to maintain privacy. The patients will be sharing their secrets with you, so you need to maintain privacy. Also, as clinical psychologists, it is your responsibility to work towards attaining your goal. Therefore, manipulation doesn’t work in this field. It is necessary not to get swayed by manipulation to achieve results.

Interpersonal skills

With the help of interpersonal skills, you will be able to work with a varied group. Interpersonal skills will allow you to work in collaboration with patients, researchers, and teams. Interpersonal skills ease communication and ethics for clinical psychologists. At the same time, it will also help to give your career a boost.

The interpersonal skills of clinical psychologists play an essential role in easing their work. By building solid relationships, they can effectively work with the audience. Moreover, it is necessary to provide the best knowledge to your audience. This can eventually have a positive impact on the life of patients.

Communication

As a psychologist, you need to have good communication skills. However, do not limit this to a basic conversation with patients. It will play an essential role in building relationships with your colleagues, seniors, and patients.

According to experts, communication is crucial for colleague-to-colleague and psychologist-to-patient interaction. Better communication can play an essential role in helping to build a strong relationship. Communication is necessary to prevent any future inconvenience.

Open-mindedness

Being judgmental is not a suitable characteristic for becoming a clinical psychologist. Clinical psychologists need to be open and frank about accepting changes. They need to deal with many patients of varied cultural identities and beliefs.

Open-minded psychologists are open to accepting changes. However, it is necessary to research to start their career. There are several challenges in the path of becoming a clinical psychologist. Being open-minded also allows you to gain an insight into the patient. When you understand the patients better, it becomes easy for clinical psychologists to develop better solutions.

Becoming a psychologist is not only challenging but extremely fun too. However, it is not a casual field but requires you to be highly professional. If you work on developing these five soft skills, half of your job becomes easier. Moreover, you also tend to avoid problems and accept the change. Being flexible plays a vital role in becoming an essential member of the community.

How many years to become a clinical psychologist?

How many years it takes to become a clinical psychologist entirely depends on the area. Every country has different requirements for becoming a clinical psychologist. According to the general rule, students need to finish their undergraduate and postgraduate degrees to become professional clinical psychologists.

Furthermore, many people also opt for specialty training. Hence, people pursuing higher education to become clinical psychologists may need eight to 12 years to finish their degree.

A clinical psychologist talking to her patient

How to become a clinical psychologist and earn a doctoral degree?

Most people are studying how to become a clinical psychologist and also work on getting their Ph.D. degree. Earning a Ph.D. degree is highly efficient and helps to build a successful career. A Ph.D. degree helps students become familiar with the training process and acquire the right skillset. Experience is highly crucial to become a clinical psychologist.

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Apart from your academic experience, in-hand experience is also needed. However, if you want to get your Ph.D. degree, you need to be very serious. Becoming a clinical psychologist is all about commitment, dedication, and time. Moreover, clinical psychology is a highly competitive field which is why many students quit midway.

Nonetheless, there are many programs accredited by universities. These universities play an essential role in understanding the needs and goals of students. Moreover, a Ph.D. degree in clinical psychology can be extremely costly. Therefore, many students get discounts, too, depending on their academic performances.

Many universities also offer the benefit of health insurance and other charges for students. Some of the famous universities from where you can pursue your clinical psychology degree include

Yale University

Yale University is one of the most prestigious universities for pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. The degree is accredited by the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS). However, the program is highly beneficial for students wanting to get a degree in treatment and psychopathology.

Students can work in close association with Yale faculty. Moreover, for the 2020-2021 session, students will also receive complete tuition fee remission. The five-year stipend will help students financially.

University of California

Situated in Los Angeles, the University of California is a dream university for many. However, pursuing your PhD. degree at the University of California will allow you to specialize in five areas. You can eventually pursue your graduate degree accordingly.

The doctoral students receive financial aid, which will be supported for the next five years. However, there are other perks, too, like tuition remission, stipend, and health benefits.

University of Notre Dame

Students can work towards pursuing a Ph.D. degree in clinical psychology at Notre Dam University. One of the most significant benefits of pursuing this degree plays a vital role in boosting your experience. Students can become clinical and cultural experts when pursuing a degree from the University of Notre Dame.

One of the greatest benefits of pursuing a degree from the University of Notre Dame is that it’s incredibly affordable. In the second year, the students can start with their full-time clinical internship programs. Similarly, the students can get benefits in terms of healthcare, tuition fees, and stipend.

The University of Wisconsin at Madison

If you are looking for affordable low-cost doctoral programs from psychology, the University of Wisconsin will benefit. Moreover, students will need to undergo intense research and training too.

There is always room open for observed changes. Areas you will need to focus on include perception, clinical, Biology of Brain and Behavior, and social and personality.

In the first year itself, students will need to become an active part of the Department. They need to learn the basics to be able to proceed further. However, they will need to manage the dissertation and defense too. Students also get a financial award package inclusive of tuition fees and salary.

University of Virginia

The doctoral programs at the University of Virginia play an essential role in boosting thinking ability. It also enhances reasoning and problem-solving skills and communication skills.

The students need to work with a mentor who will be able to help everyone properly.  Besides, it is also crucial for students to manage their second-year degrees. The students will need to appear for dissertation projects constantly.

The course takes five to six years to get over. Students can get scholarships and financial support to fund their education too. They may also need to be a part of a research program and teaching internship.

Final Thoughts

If you want to learn how to become a clinical psychologist, you must have some knowledge about the subject. Every university has programs that can be helpful for students. Make sure to do your research on how to become a clinical psychologist. It is also necessary to choose the university accurately.

Shusree Mukherjee

Writing allows me to pour my heart out in words. So, that's what I've been doing for the past 6 years. I strive to bring in a change in the world by taking tiny steps of curating the right message that needs to be conveyed.

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