Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists Career Video
Description: Diagnose and treat mental disorders; learning disabilities; and cognitive, behavioral, and emotional problems, using individual, child, family, and group therapies. May design and implement behavior modification programs.
Helping people succeed in school and personal life is the work of clinical, counseling, and school psychologists. Clinical psychologists help people resolve short-term personal issues or cope with severe, chronic mental illness. They start by assessing and diagnosing a person’s condition, then choose the most effective treatment to offer— whether it’s individual, family, or group psychotherapy, or a behavior modification program. Clinical psychologists may specialize in working with a certain age group, or in treating certain types of disorders. Counseling psychologists help their clients deal with issues at home, in their career, at school, or in their communities. After interviewing clients and gathering their history, a counseling psychologist works to help them understand the underlying dynamics of problems in their lives, identify coping strategies, set goals, and create an action plan to meet them. They work with families, groups, and individuals. School psychologists help students succeed in their personal development and at school. They may diagnose learning or behavior issues, and design performance plans to help students thrive. School psychologists counsel students and families, and also work with teachers and school staff to improve teaching, learning, and administrative methods. School psychologists need an advanced degree, usually the education specialist degree, and certification or licensure. Some school psychologists have a master’s or doctoral degree in school psychology. Most clinical and counseling psychologists need a doctorate in psychology, an internship, and a period of supervised professional experience. They must also pass a national exam.