Counseling psychologists help patients deal with and understand problems, like issues at home, at the workplace, or in their community. Through counseling, they work with patients to identify their strengths or resources they can use to manage problems. They diagnose and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders, including anxiety and depression. They also provide individual, group, family, and couples therapy. They work with clients to develop ways to change behavior or deal with difficult situations. They give mental health care to help children and families coping with changes in their lives, such as divorce or other family problems.
Students can complete a PhD in psychology or a Doctor of Psychology (Psy. D.) degree. PhD programs typically include courses on statistics and experimental procedures. The Psy. D. is a clinical degree and is based on practical work and exams. Students usually complete a 1-year internship as part of the doctoral program. Some doctoral degree programs require applicants to have a master’s degree in psychology; others will accept applicants with a bachelor’s degree and a major in psychology.
Where would I work?
Counseling psychologists shouldn't have trouble finding work. For example, they can often find employment in places like mental health clinics, hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, and schools or even opening a practice of your own.
What Type of Things Would I do?
- Administering career testing and offering counseling to help clients choose a profession, cope with workplace conflict, or adjust to a new job environment.
- Working with therapy groups related to grief, pregnancy, parenting, divorce, and/or long-term illness.
- Administering personality tests for businesses seeking new employees.
- Establishing a private practice to provide relationship counseling to newlyweds, couples experiencing communication issues, and same-sex couples.
- Treating patients in a clinic that deals with addiction, such as overeating, smoking, or drugs.