What does a Clinical Psychologist do?

Diagnose or evaluate mental and emotional disorders of individuals through observation, interview, and psychological tests, and formulate and administer programs of treatment.

Jobs Roles

  • Identify psychological, emotional, or behavioral issues and diagnose disorders, using information obtained from interviews, tests, records, and reference materials.
  • Develop and implement individual treatment plans, specifying type, frequency, intensity, and duration of therapy.
  • Interact with clients to assist them in gaining insight, defining goals, and planning action to achieve effective personal, social, educational, and vocational development and adjustment.
  • Discuss the treatment of problems with clients.
  • Use a variety of treatment methods, such as psychotherapy, hypnosis, behavior modification, stress reduction therapy, psychodrama, and play therapy.
  • Counsel individuals and groups regarding problems, such as stress, substance abuse, and family situations, to modify behavior or to improve personal, social, and vocational adjustment.
  • Write reports on clients and maintain required paperwork.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of counseling or treatments and the accuracy and completeness of diagnoses, modifying plans and diagnoses as necessary.
  • Obtain and study medical, psychological, social, and family histories by interviewing individuals, couples, or families and by reviewing records.
  • Consult reference material, such as textbooks, manuals, and journals, to identify symptoms, make diagnoses, and develop approaches to treatment.
  • Maintain current knowledge of relevant research.
  • Observe individuals at play, in group interactions, or in other contexts to detect indications of mental deficiency, abnormal behavior, or maladjustment.
  • Select, administer, score, and interpret psychological tests to obtain information on individuals' intelligence, achievements, interests, and personalities.
  • Refer clients to other specialists, institutions, or support services as necessary.
  • Provide psychological or administrative services and advice to private firms and community agencies regarding mental health programs or individual cases.
  • Develop, direct, and participate in training programs for staff and students.
  • Provide occupational, educational, and other information to individuals so that they can make educational and vocational plans.
  • Direct, coordinate, and evaluate activities of staff and interns engaged in patient assessment and treatment.
  • Plan and develop accredited psychological service programs in psychiatric centers or hospitals, in collaboration with psychiatrists and other professional staff.
  • Plan, supervise, and conduct psychological research and write papers describing research results.
  • Consult with or provide consultation to other doctors, therapists, or clinicians regarding patient care.
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