If you have a degree in psychology, you may be wondering if you can become a clinical psychologist. The answer is yes, but it will require further education and training. In this article, we’ll explore the steps you need to take to become a clinical psychologist with a psychology degree.
What is Clinical Psychology?
Clinical psychology is a field of psychology that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illness and emotional disorders. Clinical psychologists work with individuals, families, and groups to identify psychological issues and develop effective treatment plans.
What Degree Do You Need to Become a Clinical Psychologist?
To become a clinical psychologist, you will need to earn a doctoral degree in psychology. This means completing both a master’s degree and doctoral program in psychology.
Step 1: Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology
The first step towards becoming a clinical psychologist is earning your bachelor’s degree in psychology. A bachelor’s degree typically takes four years to complete and provides an introduction to the field of psychology.
While earning your bachelor’s degree in psychology, it’s important to take courses that will prepare you for graduate-level studies. These courses may include abnormal psychology, statistics, research methods, and developmental psychology.
- Abnormal Psychology
- Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental Psychology
- Social Psychology
- Statistics for Behavioral Sciences
Step 2: Earn Your Master’s Degree in Psychology
Once you have earned your bachelor’s degree in psychology, the next step is to earn your master’s degree. A master’s program typically takes two years to complete and provides advanced coursework in the field of psychology.
During your master’s program, you will likely have the opportunity to specialize in an area of clinical psychology such as child and adolescent psychology or forensic psychology.
Specializations in Clinical Psychology:
- Child and Adolescent Psychology
- Clinical Neuropsychology
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
- Forensic Psychology
- Health Psychology
Step 3: Earn Your Doctoral Degree in Psychology
The final step towards becoming a clinical psychologist is to earn your doctoral degree in psychology. There are two types of doctoral degrees in psychology: the Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
The PsyD degree focuses more on clinical practice, while the PhD degree focuses more on research. However, both degrees will prepare you to become a licensed clinical psychologist.
During your doctoral program, you will likely have the opportunity to gain practical experience through internships and supervised clinical work.
Becoming a Licensed Clinical Psychologist
After earning your doctoral degree in psychology, you will need to become licensed to practice as a clinical psychologist. Licensure requirements vary by state but typically include passing an exam and completing a certain number of supervised clinical hours.
Once you are licensed, you can begin practicing as a clinical psychologist. Many clinical psychologists work in private practice, hospitals, clinics, or schools.
In conclusion, if you have a degree in psychology, you can become a licensed clinical psychologist with further education and training. This includes earning both a master’s and doctoral degree in psychology, specializing in an area of clinical psychology, and becoming licensed to practice. With dedication and hard work, you can pursue a rewarding career helping individuals overcome mental illness and emotional disorders.