Clinical psychologists work most often in counselling centres, independent or group practices, hospitals, or clinics. They help mentally and emotionally distressed clients adjust to life and may assist medical and surgical patients in dealing with illnesses or injuries.
Some clinical psychologists work in physical rehabilitation settings, treating patients with spinal cord injuries, chronic pain or illness, stroke, arthritis, or neurological conditions. Others help people deal with personal crises, such as a divorce or the death of a loved one.
Clinical psychologists often interview patients and give diagnostic tests. They may provide individual, family, or group psychotherapy and may design and implement behaviour modification programs. Some clinical psychologists collaborate with physicians and other specialists to develop and implement treatment and intervention programs that patients can understand and comply with.
Other clinical psychologists work in universities and medical schools, where they train graduate students in the delivery of mental health and behavioural medicine services. Some administer community mental health programs.
Clinical psychologists frequently work as part of a multi-disciplinary team composed of psychiatrists, psychologists, nursing, and other practitioners to provide holistic or comprehensive medical and counselling services to patients. Other psychologist job descriptions include gerontology, or the study of the elderly, and neuro-psychological, or study of the brain.
Note: To qualify as a clinical psychologist, you must complete a relevant master’s degree.