Clinical Psychology Graduate Programs | Essential Requirements

There are many different ways to study clinical psychology. From online schools to actually attending accredited psychology universities, there are a few different routes to get to the same area. Clinical Psychology Graduate Programs can help you to reach your goal.

Make sure that whatever school you’re looking at has been accredited by the APA. They have a list of accredited programs on their website.

Many different third parties have ranked the different graduate programs to give an idea of which schools are the most prestigious at the moment.

Before making a decision on which graduate program you wish to attend, speak to your existing teachers or school counselors. I told it because as the people “in the business” always have a great idea of where you should go next.

What is Clinical Psychology?

Clinical psychology is the part of psychology that helps patients by diagnosing mental or psychological illnesses, as well as helping to provide treatment for behavioral problems or psychological conditions.

When you’re a clinical psychologist, you are in a field that pulls together all sorts of expertise: science, practice, theory, and many other types of thinking are all involved with psychology. It’s by far one of the “smartest” industries to be in, because of the ever-evolving state and continual learning that psychologists go through. Since we don’t know everything about humans already, you will continue to learn as you progress through your career.

What clinical psychologists do?

In general, clinical psychologists work to help humans. This is your primary goal. Many psychologists take part in research and teaching, though at that point they are pretty much “teachers” or “researchers.” A real clinical psychologist deals with patients – young infants to the elderly – and helps to bring them comfort and mental stability.

By assessing and diagnosing the causes and potentially harmful effects of a person’s psychological distress, you will be able to use your education to treat and ultimately help people find peace and regain their mental health.

What needs to have a PhD degree in clinical psychology?

To become a practicing clinical psychologist you need a doctorate in a clinical psychology graduate program, and that just takes you to the basic entry-level.

All clinical psychology graduate programs receive their accreditation from the American Psychological Association, and all of the United States need a license to practice.

If you need help deciding whether clinical psychology is a good career match for you, think about what you’ll be doing each day: talking to patients, doing research, and solving problems. If you enjoy giving people comfort, hope, and love – then this branch of psychology might be nice.

Speak to a career counselor or something similar before making a decision clinical Psychology Graduate ProgramsClinical Psychology School Information, Help, And Tips

Most Influential 3 Clinical Psychology Graduate Programs:

1. UCLA (Ranked #1 in many clinical psychology graduate programs comparisons)

UCLA (University of California) has been ranked the first in clinical psychology doctorate programs for a while, and it, of course, depends on who you ask. But there’s no doubt that they’re a big player in the psychology field.

2. University of North Carolina

The Department of Psychology from UNC has been hailed by many different organizations in the past. Another great school on the east coast (versus UCLA’s west coast location,) which provides those in the US a distinct geographical difference.

3. University of Washington

UW’s department of psychology is a great option for those located in the northwest region of the USA. Located in Seattle, you’ll hold a prestigious degree when you leave their doors.

These are just a few of the different programs that others have recommended for years. There are a number of different online and special programs that can give you a bit more flexibility, and we’ll be going over some of those shortly.

Psychology vs Psychiatry – What’s the Difference?

If you had a patient in front of you who is suffering from some sort of mental illness, there are two approaches to helping them.

The first would be to diagnose them with whatever issue they are having, and then come up with a treatment plan.

The second would be to diagnose them as well, but then talk to them and try to figure out what is causing the root issues… without giving them some sort of pill or medication.

Psychiatrists use medications, and psychologists don’t.

This makes the ballgame extremely different for both approaches.

One expert… the psychiatrist… is finding out which treatments work and which new medications are going to help their patients.

The psychologist is always theorizing, studying papers, and books that will help them to understand the human psyche more.

Of course, there are blends and combinations if you choose to study two paths, but generally, these are the two different approaches that help to give people the mental stability that they are pursuing.

If you are looking for more detailed information on the differences between the two, seek the help of a career counselor who can give you the information that you need. You can also consider speaking to a few psychologists and psychiatrists to help understand what they go through each day. This is a great method for finding out whether you’d like to take a step into that career direction.

Clinical Psychology School & Education Requirements

To become a clinical psychologist, you need to have a master’s degree. After that, you need to be accepted into a graduate program that will allow you to obtain your doctorate in psychology (your PhD.)

So for the first four years or so, you’ll be getting your undergrad degree and then going back for your specialization. After that, you’ll go a few more years to get your doctorate, and then your schooling is complete.

To actually begin working you have to get your license by taking a test, and then you’ll also have to be supervised for a decent length of time before being able to practice.

It’s a large amount of time for sure, but if you’re certain that clinical psychology is the route for you. It is also worth it in the end.

How Hard Is It to Get Into Clinical Psychology Graduate Programs?

There are many clinical psychology graduate programs out there, but some of them are extremely tough to get into. You need very good grades and scores in order to be accepted. Sometimes they only accept 2% of the applicants, which means only 1 in 50 would be accepted in those situations.

Of course, there are many schools that you can attend. Though it’s best to go to one of the higher-rated ones to earn prestige before you begin practicing.

We’ll be going over a few different schools that have highly rated clinical psychology graduate programs. So that you can get an idea for what options are out there. As well as how much it will cost to attain your doctorate in psychology.

Keep in mind that many students go into debt via student loans while attending university. However, if you do continue and become a licensed and practicing clinical psychologist. So, you will generally be able to pay off your loans within a few years. Please speak with a school counselor or adviser on more information before making a decision.

Common Tasks of a Clinical Psychologist

What do clinical psychologists do all day? Well, that depends on what area you specialize in really.

A clinical psychologist who teaches will obviously be at a University teaching. But somebody who is practicing clinical psychology will have a much different daily outlook.

1. Analyzing, diagnosing, and helping patients

Psychologists speak to their patients and try to understand what’s happening in their lives. You’ll be trying to find out what could be causing the problems that they are coming to you with. It will help you to know illnesses or mental imbalances that you can help to treat.

2. Develop treatments

After figuring out what the potential problem is, the clinical psychologist will attempt to treat their patient to the best of their ability.

This is obviously the baseline and most basic tasks that a clinical psychologist has. If you are opening your own practice then you’ll be dealing with your employees and the whole business side of it. Managing staff is an entire career on its own.

There are also other psychologists who strictly study research and theorize on different psychological hypotheses. Many days will be spent reading as well since psychology is continually evolving as we dig deeper into the human psyche.

Though this may sound extremely slow and peaceful, psychologists can have very hectic days and can be extremely tiresome by the end of the work hours. Dealing with continual problems from their patients can also weigh on their lives, so make sure that it’s something you should prepare to do.

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