Clinical psychologists perform the important role of diagnosis and therapeutic treatment of mental health problems. In Australia a number of pathways exist for becoming a clinical psychologist.
One route is to purse a BA with honours in Psychology and follow it up with a Masters in Clinical psychology. Alternative routes are Bachelors Honours in Psychology and following it up with a 3 year Doctor of Psychology (DPsych) course. An even longer span route is to pursue a PhD with Master embedded after Bachelor Honours in Psychology.
Either way clinical psychologists develop their expertise in specific areas of clinical psychology. Through their training they are able to provide psychological services to individuals of all ages for treating mental health problems that could be mild, severe to complex range.
Besides employment or running a professional practice, clinical psychologists are also involved in research, teaching, supervision, training program development, evaluation of current mental health interventions, develop and inform public policy for psychological health.
Clinical psychologists have skills in the following areas:
Psychological assessment and diagnosis
They are well trained in assessing and diagnosing major mental illnesses and psychological problems. Patients are often referred by GP’s to Clinical Psychologists proper diagnosis of mental health problems after a K10 screening has indicated some psychological problems.
Clinical psychologists are well trained to deliver therapeutic interventions for mental health problems and traumatic incidents. They are well trained in theory and practice to identify complex psychological problems. In addition they have practical skills to personalise solutions to suit an individual’s circumstances and personality.
Research, teaching and evaluation
Research, teaching and evaluation are core skills on which clinical psychologists receive training. Many of them are involved with universities and other research organizations carrying out research activities to prevent, diagnose, assess and treat mental health issues. In Sydney, University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, Macquarie University, University of Western Sydney are all engaged in advanced clinical psychology research. Besides clinical psychologists they are deeply involved in design of treatment strategies in variety of settings and monitoring the outcome of the treatment.
Hopefully this blog post has highlighted the role of clinical psychologists and the career opportunities available to you if you skill yourself in this stream of knowledge. The human mind is one of the most amazing creations and even after millions of hours of research we still believe that we need to learn a lot more to unravel its secrets. The science of Clinical Psychology helps you to stand at the forefront of this research and apply it in practice to help people who are trying to surmount their mental health issues and bring their life back to normal.