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Clinical psychologists

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Clinical psychologists work to reduce psychological distress in people with mental or physical health problems.

Clinical psychologists use psychological therapies and procedures to help clients overcome a range of problems including depression, addiction, anxiety, challenging behaviour, neurological disorders, mental ill health and learning disabilities. Typical responsibilities of the job include:

  • assessing clients' behaviour and needs via observation, interviews and psychometric tests
  • developing, administering and monitoring appropriate treatment therapies and strategies
  • undertaking research
  • writing reports
  • providing support and advice to carers
  • meeting, advising and liaising with other NHS professionals
  • helping clients to make positive changes to their lives

 

Qualifications and training required

 

Some clinical-related work experience may be required prior to commencing postgraduate training (for example, by working as an assistant psychologist in an NHS clinical psychology department). It may be possible to gain this experience through volunteering. 

 

Key skills for clinical psychologists

 

  • Knowledge of psychological theory and practice
  • Interest in how people think and behave
  • Good research skills
  • Ability to relate to and empathise with a range of people
  • Good teamworking skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Sensitive listening and questioning skills
  • Ability to cope with emotionally demanding situations
  • Ability to work both on your own and with others

 

Typical employers of clinical psychologists

 

  • The NHS
  • Psychiatric units
  • Hospitals
  • Mental health services
  • Health centres and local clinics
  • Social services departments
  • Schools
  • Prisons

 



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