11 Things Can You Do with a PhD in Clinical Psychology
The psychology field is increasingly popular today as more Americans are seeking psychological help for their mental health needs and life problems. That is why more professionals are entering the psychology field every year. This is borne out by recent Bureau of Labor Statistics, which found employment for all psychologists will rise by 14% through 2026, which is faster than average. (BLS.gov).
The clinical psychology field is especially popular. With a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, you will be qualified to treat patients with serious psychological problems. You also will be qualified to teach as a professor and/or work in psychological research.
If you are considering a Ph.D. in this field, below are some of the things you can do with the degree. (Psychology.Northwestern.edu).
#1 Clinical Psychologist
Private practice clinical psychologist is one of the most popular choices with this degree. You will be qualified to assess, treat and diagnose many types of mental illnesses and psychological problems. Clinical psychologists also may be able to make recommendations about prevention. Most of these professionals with a Ph.D. work at social service agencies, private practices, hospitals, clinics, and drug and alcohol treatment centers.
You will generally help your patients with serious mental health problems to cope with their situations and mental health problems. Some of the most common problems you will work with your patients on are:
- Divorce, bullying, self-esteem, remarriage
- Depression, phobias, anxiety, OCD and ADD
- Severe stress such as deaths, job loss, loss of spouse
#2 Child Psychologist
A doctorate in clinical psychology gives you the training to work as a child psychologist in schools, treatment facilities that are inpatient or outpatient, mental health centers, juvenile detention centers, clinics, and research laboratories.
Major responsibilities of child psychologists are:
- Teaching children of various ages how to communicate well and cope with life problems
- Help children deal with emotional distress and problems, such as bullying and divorce
- Enhance the learning experience for student patients
- Counsel mentally ill children and adolescents
- Offer academic guidance to your patients so they can perform better in school
Your overall goal with these patients is to devise treatment plans for each child using many psychological techniques, which can include role playing and journal writing.
#3 Clinical Case Manager
With a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, you may work on a large caseload of patients with diverse problems in many different employment environments. Some clinical case managers could specialize with a specific population, such as those with an eating disorder or trauma due to child abuse.
Your major function as a clinical case manager is to keep contact with every client, connect them with important community resources and assist them in working through their problems. More job opportunities are available in this profession with a master’s or Ph.D.
#4 College Professor
If you are passionate about psychology and teaching other people, your ideal career path could be a clinical psychology college professor. Most psychology professors have many years of experience working in the psychology field, which may be in a research or clinical setting. After you have gained several years of experience and have your Ph.D., you can draw on those important experiences and help your college students to better understand vital psychological practices and concepts. To be a full professor of clinical psychology at most colleges, you need to have your doctorate.
#5 Clinical Social Worker
This is a more advanced type of social worker who is able to psychologically counsel patients with serious mental health problems. You also will work with patients to get them the local resources they need, such as assistance finding a job, rent and utility assistance. Clinical social workers often help patients deal with personal problems and mental problems, including anxiety and depression.
Clinical social workers can be employed in hospitals, treatment centers, halfway houses and residential facilities. With a Ph.D., you can work at the highest levels in the social work field and earn the highest salaries.
#6 Counseling Psychologist
Counseling and clinical psychology are similar fields. The primary difference is that counseling psychologists tend to work with patients with less serious mental health problems than clinical psychologists. A counseling psychologist might help a person deal with depression, anxiety, death of a loved one, job loss and marital problems. Other counseling psychologists work with patients to build their self esteem.
#7 Medical Psychologist
With a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, you will work with patients whose body functions are affected by their mental health issues and behaviors. This means that you will address issues such as healthy lifestyle choices, disease prevention etc. in the context of clinical psychology. For instance, if the patient says he has severe headaches on a regular basis, you would try to understand which behaviors could be causing the headaches. If the headaches are coming from drinking too much coffee or eating too much of a food, you could work with the client to change their eating, drinking and sleeping habits.
#8 Mental Health Social Worker
Primary responsibilities as a mental health social worker are to provide counseling services and resources to your patients. You also may offer counseling in crisis intervention, groups, devise outreach programs for at risk youth, help patients to re-enter society, help clients to locate safe house and day care for children, sign up for government assistance, and help patients get to where they need to go, such as doctor’s appointments. Mental health social workers also help patients to deal with problems, including work, family, social and relationship matters.
Psychotherapists meet regularly with clients in a one on one clinical setting, and help them to make changes in their personal lives that will make them happier and more productive. Psychotherapy is a specific type of clinical psychology that stresses the value of building a strong, trusting relationship with your patient. It relies on listening, talking and relationship building to provide positive change.
#10 School Psychologist
School psychologists use advanced clinical and counseling psychology principles to help students to enhance their abilities to learn, improve behavior and address mental health problems. You also may work with teachers to devise age-appropriate lesson plans that support student learning. This can enhance their abilities to develop skills and knowledge that are needed to be successful academically and in life generally.
#11 Substance Abuse Counselor
A Ph.D. in clinical psychology can make you an excellent substance abuse counselor. You can counsel patients who have serious addictions, such as drugs, alcohol, gambling or food. You also may create community outreach programs and educate the public about substance abuse dangers. You can perform counseling either in a private setting or with a larger group. These professionals typically work for a substance abuse treatment center, hospital, clinic or private practice.
- Psychologists. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm
- Clinical Psychology Career Path. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.psychology.northwestern.edu/undergraduate/graduate-studies/areas-of-specialization/considering-clinical-psychology/career-path.html