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Psychologist Professional Occupation

There are various subfields of psychology, and most practitioners in any subfield hold a PhD, regardless of whether they are research or applied psychologists. Although many psychologists work in educational, health, and clinical settings, around 35 percent are self-employed. Psychologists primarily do research on behavioral and mental operations by inspecting, describing, and storing information. Psychological research is based on scientific principles which are employed to discover patterns in behavior of individuals, groups, organizations, and cultures. Based on observations, psychologists formulate hypotheses which they later confirm or dispute by the means of statistical analysis. In order to gather information, psychologists observe subjects in controlled experiments, through clinical trials, or by administering a battery of various types of tests. The scope of psychological research spans from substance abuse to learning disabilities, covering a wide range of topics. Some apply their knowledge and research in health or educational settings, providing clinical support in schools or hospitals. Others work in government or non government organizations where they provide training, and design various organizational setups. Yet others work in sports industry, law, or human services management. The largest portion of psychologists is made up of those who practice clinical psychology, or assess, diagnose, and treat mental health issues. They will cover disturbances from schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, to simply providing the client with an insight and an opportunity to talk about distressing situations such as death of a close family member or friend. Some psychologists treat individual clients, while others provide group and family therapy sessions. Others provide vocational training at universities and medical schools where they teach students how to administer assessment, diagnosis and treatment procedures. Many clinical psychologists work in mental or physical rehabilitation centers where they provide counseling services for individuals recovering from injury, stroke, or drug and alcohol addictions. Aside from clinical psychologists, there are other subtypes, such as child psychologists. Child psychologists assess, diagnose and treat mental health problems in children, mostly through play. They are employed in medical or educational institutions. Another subtype of psychologists are also industrial or organizational psychologists, who apply their knowledge and research skills to boost the quality of work conditions and improve productivity. Social psychologists are involved in researching social interactions and behavior between individuals and groups, examining their feelings, attitudes, and perceptions of others. Many experimental and research psychologists are involved in studying primates and other animals. They also focus on examining various psychological elements such as genetics, perception, memory, learning, and motivation. Health psychologists research the effects of social, environmental, and psychological factors on health, and help individual adjust to living with an illness. Psychologists of any sort are not permitted to prescribe medications so they often work closely with psychiatrists or medical doctors when it comes to treating serious mental diseases. Most psychologists, including those that specialize in counseling, focus on improving the daily functioning of their clients in areas such as home, work, social interactions, and so on. Those who work in schools are mostly school psychologists who cooperate with parents and teachers to create constructive and supportive learning environments for all students. They also evaluate academic, behavioral, and prevention programs, and various other services provided by the school. Finally, forensic psychologists assist the law enforcement as expert witnesses, or by implementing child custody evaluations, and offer counseling services to both the victims and perpetrators. They also assess mental state of the witnesses, accused and the plaintiffs.

Level of Education for Psychologist

In Canada and the US, in order to be admitted into the American Psychological Association a person needs to hold a PhD in psychology from a recognized university. There are exceptions in which a person can be admitted based on a substantial contribution to the field of psychology. Those who practice psychology must also obtain a state license or a certificate from the board of education in the case of school psychologists. Those psychologists who administer tests or those who provide clinical or counseling services are the most commonly found psychologists. As previously mentioned, psychologists are not allowed to prescribe medications, but there have been campaigns aiming to change this rule. In Louisiana and New Mexico an individual who is a licensed psychologist and also holds a Master’s Degree in psychopharmacology can in cooperation with a patient’s doctor prescribe medications to treat mental disturbances. In Australia, in order to register with the Australian Psychology Board an individual must hold a bachelor’s degree in psychology and either a Master’s Degree or to have completed a two year work program supervised by a psychologist. In the United Kingdom, psychologists are divided into registered and practitioners, and every subtype of psychologist can be registered with the Health Professions Council. In order to provide psychological services one must be registered with the Council. Those who are members hold PhDs from recognized universities.

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