Psychology and clinical psychology are two branches of the same field that often get confused with one another. While they may sound similar, there are significant differences between the two. In this article, we will explore the differences between psychology and clinical psychology.

What is Psychology?

Psychology is a broad field that studies human behavior and mental processes. It aims to understand how people think, feel, and behave in different situations. Psychologists use various methods such as observation, experiments, surveys, and case studies to gather information about human behavior.

Psychology covers a wide range of topics such as social psychology, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, personality psychology, and more. It also includes subfields like educational psychology, sports psychology, forensic psychology, and health psychology.

What is Clinical Psychology?

Clinical Psychology is a specialized field within Psychology that focuses on diagnosing and treating mental illnesses or disorders. It involves the assessment of individuals who are experiencing psychological distress or dysfunction to determine the appropriate treatment.

Clinical psychologists use various techniques such as psychotherapy or talk therapy to treat their patients. They work with individuals who have a variety of mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety disorders, personality disorders or substance abuse problems.

Differences Between Psychology and Clinical Psychology

The main difference between the two fields lies in their focus. While Psychology aims to understand human behavior through research and experimentation in different contexts; clinical psychologists focus on assessing and treating individuals with mental health problems.

Another difference lies in the required qualifications for practicing each profession. To become a psychologist typically requires a bachelor’s degree in Psychology followed by a master’s or doctoral degree in Psychology; while becoming a clinical psychologist requires additional training beyond that of a general psychologist. Clinical psychologists must earn a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology which includes supervised clinical experience before being licensed.


In conclusion, while both Psychology and Clinical Psychology are essential fields in studying human behavior, they differ in their focus and required qualifications. Psychology is a broad field that aims to understand human behavior while clinical psychology is a specialized field within psychology that focuses on treating individuals with mental health disorders. If you are considering pursuing a career in either field, it’s crucial to understand the differences between the two before making your decision.