What Is Involved in Clinical Psychology?


Vincent White

Clinical psychology is a field of psychology that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness and behavioral disorders. It involves the use of various techniques to help individuals overcome their psychological problems and lead a healthy and fulfilling life.

Education and Training

To become a clinical psychologist, one needs to earn a doctoral degree in psychology. This typically takes 5-7 years of graduate study after completing an undergraduate degree in psychology or a related field.

During this time, students take courses in areas such as cognitive, social, developmental, personality, abnormal, and clinical psychology. They also receive training in research methods and statistics.

In addition to coursework, students must complete supervised clinical training. This involves working under the supervision of licensed psychologists in various settings such as hospitals, clinics, and private practices.


Assessment is an essential part of clinical psychology. It involves the use of various tools to evaluate an individual’s mental health status. These tools may include interviews, questionnaires, observation, and psychological tests.

The purpose of assessment is to identify the individual’s specific problems and develop an appropriate treatment plan. It also helps clinicians to monitor progress over time.


Treatment in clinical psychology may involve various techniques such as:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy: This approach focuses on changing negative thoughts and behaviors that contribute to psychological problems.
  • Psychodynamic therapy: This approach emphasizes exploring unconscious thoughts and feelings that may be contributing to psychological issues.
  • Humanistic therapy: This approach emphasizes self-awareness and personal growth.

Treatment may also involve medication management for certain mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety disorders.


Clinical psychologists may specialize in certain areas such as:

  • Child psychology: This involves working with children and adolescents who are experiencing psychological problems.
  • Forensic psychology: This involves working within the criminal justice system to evaluate individuals for competency, provide expert testimony, and consult with law enforcement agencies.
  • Health psychology: This involves working with individuals who have medical conditions that are affecting their mental health.


In conclusion, clinical psychology is a field that involves the diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders. It requires extensive education and training, including supervised clinical experience.

Assessment and treatment may involve various techniques, and psychologists may specialize in certain areas. If you are struggling with a mental health issue, seeking help from a licensed clinical psychologist can be a helpful step towards recovery.