Clinical psychology is the application of psychology to the analysis, research and treatment of severe mental health disorders, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. It is different to counseling psychology, which deals with everyday stresses, including learning difficulties, marriage guidance and family difficulties.
Practitioners in this field deal with patients suffering with acute psychiatric disorders. A psychiatric disorder refers to a chronic mental illness and not just a psychological problem. Some common conditions include schizophrenia, major depression disorder, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, behavioral disorders, eating disorders, and anxiety disorders. Most of these conditions require ongoing counseling as well as drug therapy to keep the patients stabilized. Psychological problems don’t always occur as a result of emotional trauma, they can be caused by physical injuries.
As a graduate of a clinical psychology masters, you will be well prepared to diagnose behavioral and mental disorders, make assessments, and administer therapy – but a doctorate is really required to progress in this field. This page has details of the programs, where they can be studied, career prospects, and more …
What do you study in the programs?
Clinical psychology began in 1896 with the work of Lightner Witmer on learning disabilities. Other psychologists followed with their own theories and treatments of educational and other psychological disturbances. There are now many theories and approaches to clinical psychology, and degree programs may vary slightly as to the content and specializations offered, depending on the research interests of the faculty.
Clinical psychology graduate programs focus on the assessment and treatment of mental health disorders, abnormal behavior and psychiatric problems. A typical Masters program may include: biological basis of behavior, the developmental approach, cognitive approach, clinical psychology, human motivation, culture and psychology, contemporary issues in psychology, theories of psychotherapy, principles of psychopathology, statistics, research design, psychological testing. A thesis may be required in addition or in place of some of the courses.
Make sure the program you take is accredited by an appropriate accrediting body, such as the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), and the American Psychological Association (APA).
What is the job of a clinical psychologist like?
This type of psychologist can work in a number of environments. These include clinics, counseling centers, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, private practices, partnership practices, or in industry and commerce. With a masters in clinical psychology (MA, MS or MSc clinical psychology), you can become a guidance counselor, educator, clinical psychologist, social worker, research psychologist and more. Without a masters or PhD in clinical psychology you would only be qualified to work as a clinical psychology assistant. For the best jobs you really need a clinical doctorate in psychology.
For this career, you must have exceptional communication skills. Determining the right approach to treatment requires creativity so this is also an essential skill. The life of a clinical psychologist can be richly rewarding and very demanding. Therefore, before embarking on your studies, it is advisable to contact a human services provider and offer to do some voluntary work. This is an excellent way to find out if you are a suitable candidate.
Like every line of work, this job has its benefits and downsides. The main benefit is seeing people overcome their problems because of your input. The job is challenging and will enable you to look for creative solutions. Another major benefit is that this is a career that offers self-employment opportunities.
One of the biggest downsides is the amount of paperwork required. Extensive patient records have to be kept because these are often required by insurance companies. Also, being a therapist is so demanding that you may at risk of burnout. A clinical psychologist has to work long hours with patients, many of whom are unstable, hostile, and argumentative.
What are the prospects with a clinical psychology masters?
The American Psychological Association says that psychology is the third fastest-growing field in America requiring a college degree. Graduates with a master’s degree can expect to find a wide and varied choice of job opportunities. With access to psychological health care increasing in the USA, the demand for qualified clinicians and therapists is rising. Some therapists are employed in the business sector, government, and education. With a master’s level qualification, you may also pursue a career in social services.
Other titles that fall under the umbrella of clinical psychology are clinician, counselor, and social worker. A clinician diagnoses, assesses, and treats patients with emotional or mental illnesses. A counselor tends to work more with people who have psychological problems that are interfering with their daily lives. Generally, they do not work with psychiatric illnesses.
A graduate with a clinical psychology masters degree may also be employed by a social welfare agency. He or she diagnoses and treats patients who have been referred to the agency. In the USA, a social work graduate is permitted to work in all 50 states. The average salary of a clinical psychologist varies between $51,748 and $91,732, although some salaries can top the $170,000 mark in certain working environments like the corporate sector.
List of clinical psychology schools and programs
- Earn your Master's or Doctorate degree online
- Choose from degrees within the schools of Psychology, Organizational Leadership or Social, Human and Educational Development
- Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association
- All faculty hold doctorate degrees and bring real world experience to the classroom
- MA in Psychology, General Psychology
- MA in Psychology, Health and Wellness Psychology
- Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor?s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
- Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
- Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
- Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
- Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
- MS in Psychology - General Psychology
- MS in Psychology
- MS in Psychology - Applied Behavior Analysis Specialization
- Earn a graduate degree from an established university that shares your values of social justice and healthy communities.
- All online master’s degree courses are instructed by experienced, accomplished faculty.
- Our rigorous online master’s degrees can be completed in as little as two years.
- New online graduate students are eligible for scholarships and other offers.
- Master of Arts in Psychology: Specialization in Military Psychology
Regent University prepares students with the knowledge to excel and the faith to live with purpose. Our 20,000 alumni, from more than 110 countries, are changing the world as accomplished professionals. Named a top-15 school nationally for online bachelor's programs (U.S. News & World Report, 2015), Regent is among the most affordable undergraduate Christian colleges (CCCU 2015). Fully accredited, challenging programs are available online and on campus. New classes begin every eight weeks.
- Master of Science in General Psychology
- MS Psychology
- Master of Science in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
- MS Political Science
- And more...
At Kaplan University, we offer over 180 degree and certificate programs. With three different ways to learn, you can choose the format that works best for you:
- Study wherever you have an Internet connection, because almost all of our courses are 100% online, or
- Take campus-based classes(with day and evening options available), or
- Combine campus learning with online classes (blended).
- Master of Science in Psychology : Applied Behavior Analysis
- Master of Science: Psychology
- Master of Science in Psychology : General Psychology