Psychologist jobs can be found almost everywhere. In the United States alone, there are more than two hundred mental health professionals practicing. Many psychiatrists and psychologist also choose to open their own practices, sometimes called private practices, in which they treat a limited number of patients, often over a short period of time. There are also schools of psychology that require graduates to take an exam to become a licensed psychologist.
Private practice is the most common route for psychologists to take. Most live in either the city or suburbs and tend to specialize in one area. For example, some specialize in clinical psychology while others focus on counseling, family and couples therapy, or social phobias or panic disorders. A few areas of specialization are usually sought by all types of psychologists. One of these is school psychologists who typically treat children, teenagers, and adults in school settings. Other types of psychologists who may choose to work in private practice include general practitioners who usually treat patients in groups or with a variety of patients, including adults, adolescents, children, couples, and families.
Some psychologist find employment in government or public institutions as well. They may work with children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families in facilities such as hospitals, shelters, schools, and mental health facilities. Many psychologists also find employment in therapy groups, private counseling sessions, and organizations like Mothers Against Depression, where they provide advice and counseling to those who suffer from this mental illness. School psychologists generally provide individual and group counseling in academic or at-home settings. Some psychologist work with school districts to implement programs like the National School Lunch Program or the Healthy Eating Plan.
The majority of psychologists who begin their careers are trained in clinical or psychological practices. However, there are also many psychologists who have a doctoral degree, master’s degree, or doctorate degree in an unrelated field of study. In the field of clinical or counseling psychology, which encompasses a variety of psychological practices, there are typically two types of psychologists: psychiatrists and psychologists. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on psychiatrists.
Unlike medical doctors, who have to focus on one particular aspect of psychology, psychiatrists are able to expand their practice based upon their experience and training. Medical doctors have to specialize in a specific area of medicine such as surgery or pediatrics. By becoming a master of a specialized area of study, however, psychologists can take their expertise and apply it to a variety of different psychological issues. For example, if a master of psychology is interested in learning about parenting, they may wish to become a child psychologist, which would enable them to conduct various studies relating to parenting and the mental health of children. A psychiatrist may also be interested in learning more about sexually related behaviors, so they might wish to become an expert in sexually related behaviors.
Unlike medical doctors, school psychologists need not have a doctoral degree in psychology in order to obtain employment. Generally, all states require that psychologists have a bachelor’s degree and then must obtain either a master’s degree or doctoral degrees from accredited programs in the field. However, in some states, school psychologists need only a master’s degree. Regardless of where a school psychologist obtains their degree, however, psychologists must be licensed in their state in order to practice. This licensing requirement is important because in most states, a psychologist can only practice if they hold a valid license from their state’s medical board.
Although a psychiatrist may have many years of experience in mental health, they will generally begin their careers as a hospital psychologist. Hospital psychologists generally spend their career helping a wide range of patients with a number of different mental health problems. For example, a psychiatrist may work in a mental health unit treating patients with personality disorders such as bi-polar disorder, attention deficit disorder, depression, schizophrenia, etc. However, sometimes a psychiatrist works with patients who do not have any type of mental disorder, such as those suffering from a stroke who are released from a car accident or those with high school students who are having social anxiety issues. The position of hospital psychologist is therefore very varied, as there are many people who require their services in many different types of psychological conditions.
While a person may choose to go on to become a licensed clinical psychologist or even a psychotherapist, there are many people who want to start their careers in the field of psychology without having to get a master’s degree. In fact, many psychologists use psychological techniques and counseling methods to help people with a variety of problems, such as learning how to increase their self-confidence or learning how to deal with difficult emotions such as anger, guilt, shame, etc. Psychologists also use methods such as group therapy to help people overcome common problems such as low self-esteem or learning how to better interact with others. Finally, psychologists may use their skills and knowledge about a variety of different psychological disorders to treat patients who have no other option but to go to a psychiatrist to get help. In fact, in some cases, when all else fails, a psychologist may have to rely on their training to help a patient get the treatment that they need.