When it comes to a career in psychology, there are many different paths you can take. Two of the most popular branches of psychology are applied psychology and clinical psychology.
Each field has its own unique characteristics and areas of focus, making them both valuable options for those interested in pursuing a career in psychology. However, the question remains – which one is better? Let’s take a closer look at the differences between applied psychology and clinical psychology to determine which field may be the right fit for you.
What is Applied Psychology?
Applied psychology is a branch of psychology that involves using psychological theories and principles to solve real-world problems. This can include everything from developing educational programs to improve student performance, to designing workplace interventions that increase employee productivity. Applied psychologists work in a variety of settings, including schools, businesses, government agencies, and non-profit organizations.
Some common areas of focus within applied psychology include:
- Educational Psychology
- Industrial-Organizational Psychology
- Forensic Psychology
- Health Psychology
- Sports Psychology
What is Clinical Psychology?
Clinical psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on diagnosing and treating mental illnesses and emotional disorders. Clinical psychologists work with individuals who are experiencing a wide range of issues, such as anxiety, depression, or addiction. They use various therapeutic techniques to help their clients overcome these challenges and improve their overall mental health.
Some common therapeutic approaches used by clinical psychologists include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
- Psychoanalytic Therapy
- Humanistic Therapy
- Gestalt Therapy
The Differences Between Applied Psychology and Clinical Psychology
While both applied psychology and clinical psychology fall under the umbrella of psychology, there are some key differences between these two fields.
One of the main differences is their focus. Applied psychology focuses on using psychological principles to solve real-world problems, while clinical psychology focuses on diagnosing and treating mental illness. This means that applied psychologists may work in a variety of settings outside of traditional therapy sessions, such as schools or businesses.
Another difference is the types of clients they work with. Clinical psychologists primarily work with individuals who are experiencing mental health issues, while applied psychologists may work with a wider range of individuals, including students, athletes, and employees.
Finally, the educational requirements for each field may differ slightly. Clinical psychologists typically need a doctoral degree in psychology to practice independently, while applied psychologists may be able to work with a master’s degree.
Which Field is Better?
When it comes down to it, neither field is inherently “better” than the other – it really depends on your interests and career goals. If you’re passionate about using psychological principles to solve real-world problems and want to work in a variety of settings outside of traditional therapy sessions, then applied psychology may be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you’re interested in helping individuals overcome mental health challenges and want to specialize in therapeutic interventions, then clinical psychology may be a better fit.
Ultimately, both fields offer rewarding careers that allow you to make a positive impact on people’s lives – whether that’s by improving their mental health or solving real-world problems through psychological interventions. So if you’re considering a career in psychology but aren’t sure which path to take – don’t worry! Both options have their own unique strengths and opportunities for growth.