Psychology is the study of human functioning, both in terms of how we behave and interact and also of how our internal world functions (i.e. our thoughts, feelings and motivations). Psychologists are experts in human behaviour, who work to treat people with mental health problems and help individuals find ways of functioning better.
There are a number of areas that holders of psychology degrees can move into, these include:
- Clinical Psychology
- Counselling Psychology
- Educational Psychology
- Forensic Psychology
- Health Psychology
- Occupational Psychology
- Teaching and Research in Psychology
A Clinical Psychologist has specialist training in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders. They provide a wide range of psychological services to individuals across the lifespan and for mental health conditions that range from mild to severe and complex. They work with individuals as well as groups and wider systems. A clinical psychologist is an applied scientist, able to draw upon the breadth of psychological research to understand how mental health problems have arisen, how they are maintained in the here and now, and how they may be best managed or overcome. Clinical psychologists work in a range of academic and clinical roles; such as, private practice, hospitals, universities, general medical practices, community health centres and mental health services. Clinical psychologists are not medical doctors and do not prescribe medication.
Clinical psychologists have training in a wide range of psychological theories and therapy approaches, often described as ‘talking therapies’. Therapeutic approaches used by clinical psychologists reflect the research evidence and NICE recommendations regarding the most effective treatment approaches for particular difficulties. Theoretical models and evidence based therapeutic approaches such as developmental psychology, psychodynamic, concepts, motivational interviewing, compassionate mind approaches, schema therapy, metacognitive approaches and positive psychology concepts, are all drawn upon to provide clients with an in depth psychological formulation of their difficulties and an individually tailored therapy plan. Thus, although most clinical psychologists will specialise in a particular client group or therapy approach, they will be able to use ideas and techniques from other approaches. This is helpful because people rarely fit into neat categories.
In addition to professional practice, clinical psychologists may be involved in research, teaching and supervision, program development and evaluation, public policy and other activities that promote psychological health in individuals, families, groups, and organisations.
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellance
("Psychology Vs. Psychiatry Vs. Psychotherapy")