Career Profile: Clinical Psychologist
Suppose that you could solve people’s problems just by talking with them. Maybe you already talk with your friends or your family about their issues, and maybe you give them good advice about what to do. If so, you might want to consider becoming a clinical psychologist and learning ways to help not just your family, but also many other people.
When people go through difficult times or suffer from a mental illness like depression, they might need help from professionals. If they need medication to treat the problem, they might need to go to a psychiatrist or other trained doctor. However, they might also need help from a clinical psychologist.
When people need to talk about their problems with someone who can listen and help them work through the issues, they might want to contact a clinical psychologist. These professionals study psychology in university so that they know the techniques of helping people understand the roots of their problems and how to solve them.
Basically, clinical psychologists assess people’s mental health and then recommend treatments for them. They might work with children, adults or teenagers and help families or individuals. Some of them work in community programs or schools, but others might work in their own clinics or in doctors’ offices. The average salary for clinical psychologists is almost $71,000 per year, but it can take some time to work up to that point. Most people in this profession move on to something else after about twenty years.
The first step towards becoming a clinical psychologist is to get a degree from a university. Most people in this field have some kind of specialty, such as with a certain age group or illness. They might also decide to get into teaching or research. If you want to become a clinical psychologist, you might already want to think about the kinds of work you want to do.
One of the first steps in training as a clinical psychologist is to develop the ability to listen. Even when you are trained in your profession, you will need to be able to listen to people without interrupting them or becoming bored or distracted. You can already start to develop that skill as you interact with your friends and family at school or at home.
Right now, job prospects for clinical psychologists are good in Canada. Besides having a degree in a related field, clinical psychologists need to have certification from the government to show that they have the necessary qualifications. Each province or territory might have slightly different requirements, and it is important to find out what they are. When you have your training and certification, you can start to work at helping people professionally.
Consultations with other professionals like doctors will be a large part of your work since many different factors can contribute to people’s problems. Finding out what other professionals know can help clinical psychologists understand their patients better. If they do their work well, clinical psychologists can help many people feel better about themselves and the world.