What does a Psychologist do?
Psychologists work for mental health practices to help clients manage psychological challenges in their life. They decide what kind of therapy programs and mental health treatments are most appropriate for each client, recording their progress and making adjustments based on their response to different approaches to treatment. Psychologists talk to their patients about the symptoms they experience and help them identify the source of irregular thoughts, emotions and behaviors. They help clients process conflict and trauma, cultivating a safe and trusting environment where clients can be honest about their challenges.
Psychologists skills and qualifications
Psychologists use a variety of skills to provide their patients with the most comprehensive support and care, which can include:
- Patience, especially when working with challenging patients or those who may be resistant to treatment
- Interpersonal skills, including being able to relate to their patients in order to help them
- Empathy to identify with patients’ experiences to help them understand what is causing them to feel a certain way
- Trustworthiness to keep information confidential, as patients will tell the psychologist their most private thoughts and secrets
- Communication skills and the ability to know when to talk and when to listen to create a safe environment for the patients
- Critical thinking to help the psychologist make an accurate diagnosis to recommend proper treatment
Psychologist salary expectations
A Psychologist makes an average of $86,229 per year. Salary may vary depending on a candidate’s education, experience level and geographical location.
Psychologist education and training requirements
Educational requirements for Psychologists can vary depending on the specific requirements of the role. Many people who obtain a bachelor’s degree in psychology do not pursue careers as Psychologists. Those who do typically have a master’s degree and the required state or professional licenses and certifications. Continuing education may be necessary for Psychologists to maintain licensure.
Psychologist experience requirements
Most Psychologists gain the necessary experience for this position during their undergraduate or postgraduate coursework, but it may be useful for them to get experience in the specific area or setting they want to work in after graduation. Psychologists can work in a wide variety of settings including clinical research, private practices, hospitals or schools. They might also specialize in a certain age group, like children, or a specific mental disorder or issue, like eating disorders or anxiety. While Psychologists should have a general understanding of all aspects of the field, these specifications can make them more competitive.
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