The human mind is a mystery, and if you want to explore it and understand it better, a clinical psychology degree can help you with that.
If you like to dive into the dark depths of the subconscious and investigate human behavior, studying clinical psychology is a good start. You may even learn a few psychological tricks that you can use in everyday life.
Once you master psychology, all those magic tricks won’t be that interesting anymore. Illusionists and con-artists use their knowledge of mental limitations during information processing to trick people into believing unusual things.
Psychology as a science made amazing progress in the last century in its effort to explain some of the secrets of human awareness. Many secrets remain unsolved, and that makes it even more interesting and challenging.
It became diversified into many fields and categories like counseling, research, and clinical psychology. While counseling psychology helps people to deal with marriage and family issues, research psychology conducts studies on the link between mind and behavior.
As an expert with a clinical psychology degree, you will take the first step and open the doors for a career in clinical psychology. Unlike counseling and research psychology, clinical psychology focuses on helping patients to deal with mental or emotional problems.
This involves therapeutic interaction with your patients and diagnosing mental disorders. It is needless to say that your job as a clinical psychologist requires trust, discretion, and superb communication skills.
It may be a long journey before you finally become a full-fledged clinical psychologist, but it is a road paved with knowledge and passion for the exploration of the human mind. You will be responsible for the mental and emotional health of other people, helping them to increase their quality of life and work through difficult matters.
How to get a clinical psychology degree
Most clinical psychologists need a doctor’s degree and at least one to two years of professional experience. Bachelor’s degree in psychology can be obtained in four years, followed by a master’s degree program which generally requires one to two years to complete.
The doctoral degree program in clinical psychology takes approximately five to seven years to complete and it is certainly an endeavor that requires dedication. It takes a passion and persistence for this area of knowledge to become a licensed psychologist.
If you start with a bachelor program you will learn about the basics and history of psychology, theories of personality and abnormal psychology. Other topics may include:
- Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology
- Biological Foundations of Psychology
- Psychological Tests and Measurements
- Ethical, Legal and Professional Issues
You will become familiar with the basics elements of clinical psychology with an overview of major theories of personality, patient assessment, and psychotherapy. Your bachelor’s degree is the first step toward a clinical psychology degree since degrees in clinical psychology do not exist at the bachelor’s level.
Master’s degree is a more specialized qualification that allows you to focus on clinical psychology and become skilled in topics like:
- Child and Adolescent Development
- Behavior Analysis
- Psychological Evaluation,
- Case conceptualization
- Social bases of behavior
- Consultation and therapy
The student of clinical psychology has two paths available to choose from at the doctoral level: the Ph.D. and the PsyD. The first focuses on research, while the PsyD prepares students to treat clients in a clinical setting.
Being accepted to these programs is a huge accomplishment, and once you graduate you must pass an exam, defend a dissertation and complete a one-year internship to become a professional clinical psychologist.
So, If you want a career in research, a Ph.D. is the best choice, but Psy.D. is a clinical psychology degree that prepares you to enter a career in mental health. Armed with all acquired knowledge, you will be ready to sharpen your skills in practice, and become a mental health expert.
Some online courses are available online but most accredited programs are the traditional ones, and you should do a meticulous background check before you pick a good program.
To help you decide and find the right school for you, we developed our college search tool. Use it to browse through colleges across the nation and pick the one that suits your ambitions.
What you can do with a clinical psychology degree
Becoming a licensed psychologist and mental health expert is surely not the only career choice of a clinical psychologist. Different jobs in this department have one thing in common, and that is care for a patient’s mental health.
Diagnosing a mental disorder in another person requires a careful approach and gaining their trust, so they can open up and let you inside their mind. Patients will share intimate and sometimes disturbing facts from their experiences, and you will need to know how to deal with that in a professional manner.
You might start as a social worker or a school psychologist and work your way up to become a forensic or criminal behavioral analyst.
Do you like watching Mindhunter? With a clinical psychology degree, you can become one.
If you like working with children, maybe you can consider a career as a child psychologist who deals with child development and adolescent mental health issues. This includes all types of eating disorders, depression or anxiety.
Learning disabilities, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder are problems that you will encounter every day. The clinical psychology degree gives you the tools to deal with these issues and improve the life quality of your patients.
Maybe your dream is to have a private practice and receive patients for hourly sessions. You will need some practice before you reach this level of expertise, but it is definitely a feasible possibility.
A window in to the human mind
Take the opportunity and dive into the mysterious and exciting world of human psychology. The clinical psychology degree opens a window of the human mind for you to explore.
If you are born for mind exploration, you don’t really have a choice.
Your destiny is to become a mental health expert who helps people to deal with their psychiatric problems.
Take the first step on your journey and work your way to the master and doctoral degrees.
Pick the right college today, and start earning your clinical psychology degree.
Interested in a degree in this field? Our College Search Tool makes it quick and easy to find a school offering what you are looking for. Give It A Try!