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What do Clinical Psychologists do?

Diagnose or evaluate mental and emotional disorders of individuals through observation, interview, and psychological tests, and formulate and administer programs of treatment.

What are the Main Tasks of Clinical Psychologists?

  • Identify psychological, emotional, or behavioral issues and diagnose disorders, using information obtained from interviews, tests, records, and reference materials.
  • Develop and implement individual treatment plans, specifying type, frequency, intensity, and duration of therapy.
  • Interact with clients to assist them in gaining insight, defining goals, and planning action to achieve effective personal, social, educational, and vocational development and adjustment.
  • Discuss the treatment of problems with clients.
  • Use a variety of treatment methods, such as psychotherapy, hypnosis, behavior modification, stress reduction therapy, psychodrama, and play therapy.
  • Counsel individuals and groups regarding problems, such as stress, substance abuse, and family situations, to modify behavior or to improve personal, social, and vocational adjustment.
  • Write reports on clients and maintain required paperwork.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of counseling or treatments and the accuracy and completeness of diagnoses, modifying plans and diagnoses as necessary.
  • Obtain and study medical, psychological, social, and family histories by interviewing individuals, couples, or families and by reviewing records.
  • Consult reference material, such as textbooks, manuals, and journals, to identify symptoms, make diagnoses, and develop approaches to treatment.
  • Maintain current knowledge of relevant research.
  • Observe individuals at play, in group interactions, or in other contexts to detect indications of mental deficiency, abnormal behavior, or maladjustment.
  • Select, administer, score, and interpret psychological tests to obtain information on individuals' intelligence, achievements, interests, and personalities.
  • Refer clients to other specialists, institutions, or support services as necessary.
  • Provide psychological or administrative services and advice to private firms and community agencies regarding mental health programs or individual cases.
  • Develop, direct, and participate in training programs for staff and students.
  • Provide occupational, educational, and other information to individuals so that they can make educational and vocational plans.
  • Direct, coordinate, and evaluate activities of staff and interns engaged in patient assessment and treatment.
  • Plan and develop accredited psychological service programs in psychiatric centers or hospitals, in collaboration with psychiatrists and other professional staff.
  • Plan, supervise, and conduct psychological research and write papers describing research results.
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