For many modern people, the activity of a clinical psychologist is still terra incognita. However, this profession is considered to be one of the most prestigious and promising in the 21st century. Following clinical psychologist definition, the representative of this direction works in the sphere of clinical psychology, which is thought to be a scientific and applied branch of psychology and studies the laws of mental properties, processes, and conditions in people suffering from various diseases. Moreover, the specialization develops methods of clinical psychodiagnostic, psychological assistance, psychoprophylaxis, and psychohygiene.
The clinical psychologist jobs include not only helping a person to overcome problems and diseases but also increasing the human adaptive capabilities and resilience. Initially, the specialty was introduced to provide psychologists with medical institutions. Still, now clinical psychologists are very in demand in law enforcement agencies, rescue services, expert bureaus, and, of course, in private practice.
The Reasons to Contact a Clinical Psychologist
Following the specialists’ points of view, it is recommended to contact a clinical psychologist with any problem that relates to psychological well-being and health. However, following their opinion, the specific features of training allow contemporary people to work with a wide range of conditions and difficulties. Here is a list of problems that both modern men and women often ask specialists when they need consultations.
- Depressive manifestations: gloomy mood, apathy, loss of ability to have fun, etc.
- Anxiety: constant anxiety, irritability, bouts of fear and panic, etc. Including phobias associated with communication, as well as parental anxiety.
- Sleep problems: insomnia, worsened quality of sleep, increased drowsiness, etc.
- Sexual disorders: decreased sexual desire and potency, difficulties with orgasm, etc.
- Asthenic problems: chronic fatigue, decreased energy and performance, increased fatigue, etc.
What Does a Clinical Psychologist Do?
Above there is a long list of various troubles. In the most general terms, the scheme of work under these conditions is more or less the same.
The first stage is called the distinction. The specialist should define whether this condition is a sphere of a medical psychologist, or it is necessary for him or her to work together with a psychotherapist or psychiatrist. For example, in the case of a mild depressive or near-depressive state, the psychologists can provide assistance (using, for example, cognitive psychotherapy) themselves. In the case of moderate depression, the patient, as a rule, received the medication together with psychotherapy.
Non-medical psychotherapy can be carried out at two levels depending on the request, the capabilities of the client, and the level of training of the psychologist. The first one is the work at the level of symptoms or its manifestations. For example, they are learning how to manage anxiety or panic attacks, to control the emotions, to prevent overwork, etc. The work represents the second one at the level of causes when it is necessary to identify the source of the problem. It may be introduced by deep beliefs, character traits, or intrapersonal conflict. Under this condition, everything depends on the theoretical orientation of the psychologist. As a rule, clinical psychologist salary depends on the number of works this person performs.
Clinical Psychologist Treatment in the Case of Serious Medical Problems
The next reason for treatment is health problems associated with psychological factors—this whole group of conditions called psychosomatic disorders. The role of psychotherapy in their treatment is significant. Fortunately, in recent years, the interns have realized the necessity to send these patients to clinical psychologists. Up to the present moment, this group is enormous. It involves hypertension, dermatitis, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (irritable bowel syndrome, psychogenic nausea), and pains of different localization (headaches, in the back).
Working with psychosomatic problems is considered to be a complicated matter. Two fundamental points can explain the difficulties. First, it should be carried out in contact with a bodily doctor who guides the patient. If this is not possible, it is essential to have at least documentary evidence that the patient consults with the doctor and receives the necessary treatment. The second point is that under these conditions, it is impossible to work superficially, as a deep psychological intervention is almost always needed.
The somatic symptoms cannot be classified in a way as psychosomatic can. In this case, the main tasks of medical psychologists are adapting a person to disease, increasing his or her ability to fight the disease. For example, the most typical situation is a formation of motivation to observe a lifestyle, psychological preparation for surgical interventions, etc.
Increasing Immunity by Clinical Psychological Methods
When the potential patient is looking for the answer to the question “Is there any clinical psychologist near me?” he or she should be ready to receive some sources. A separate topic of many clinical psychologists is the increase of immunity by psychological methods. At the moment we have a lot of groundwork in this area. Indeed, the reasons for contacting a clinical psychologist are not restricted to what has been listed above. Work with addictions, escort under challenging situations (death of loved ones, divorces, loss of work, etc.), some other problems with being overweight and eating in general, psychological management of pregnant women are considered to be the spheres of clinical psychologists. The person who wants to know how to become a clinical psychologist should be ready to deal with all these matters. Moreover, a separate, fascinating area of activity is psychoprophylaxis. It includes building resilience, learning the best ways to solve problems, and, accordingly, increasing self-confidence.
As a rule, clinical psychologists are “in touch” with other specialists in the field of mental and bodily health: psychiatrists (to refer patients with a suspected psychiatric disorder from the sphere of “big psychiatry,” and also lead them together with the doctor in terms of rehabilitation), psychotherapists (if necessary, the appointment of psychopharmacotherapy), narcologists and internists.
The features of the career growth of a clinical psychologist depend on the chosen direction of professional activity. Development and career growth are possible as a specialist (in a clinic, rehabilitation center, bureau of medical and social expertise, school, company, etc.) mostly through the accumulation of experience, advanced training, and the acquisition of new professional competencies. Clinical psychology provides excellent opportunities for growth as a science that allows the person to quickly acquire scientific degrees and make a career as a scientist and teacher. And a wide range of opportunities for private practice allows combining the occupation of a clinical psychologist with the job of a businessman. The sooner the person gets the answer to the question “What is a clinical psychologist?” the better he or she will be prepared for their future career. The profession of a clinical psychologist is challenging. However, it is considered to be in the list of the most interesting ones.