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Clinical Psychologist

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Doctoral degree

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What They Do

Clinical and Counseling Psychologists Career Video

About This Career

Assesses, diagnoses, and treats mental and emotional disorders of individuals through observation, interview, and psychological tests. Helps individuals with distress or maladjustment understand their problems through their knowledge of case history, interviews with patients, and theory. Provides individual or group counseling services to assist individuals in achieving more effective personal, social, educational, and vocational development and adjustment. May design behavior modification programs and consult with medical personnel regarding the best treatment for patients.

This career is part of the Human Services cluster Counseling and Mental Health Services pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Interacts with clients to assist them in gaining insight, defining goals, and planning action to achieve effective personal, social, educational, or vocational development and adjustment.
  • Conducts assessments of patients' risk for harm to self or others.
  • Counsels individuals, groups, or families to help them understand problems, deal with crisis situations, define goals, and develop realistic action plans.
  • Writes reports on clients and maintains required paperwork.
  • Collects information about individuals or clients, using interviews, case histories, observational techniques, and other assessment methods.
  • Documents patient information including session notes, progress notes, recommendations, and treatment plans.
  • Develops and implements individual treatment plans, specifying type, frequency, intensity, and duration of therapy.
  • Uses a variety of treatment methods, such as psychotherapy, hypnosis, behavior modification, stress reduction therapy, psychodrama, or play therapy.
  • Develops therapeutic and treatment plans based on clients' interests, abilities, or needs.
  • Identifies psychological, emotional, or behavioral issues and diagnoses disorders, using information obtained from interviews, tests, records, or reference materials.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Clinical Counselor
  • Licensed Psychologist
  • Therapist
  • Licensed Clinical Psychologist
  • Psychologist
  • Counseling Psychologist
  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
  • Psychotherapist — Works with individuals, couples, families and groups to help them overcome a range of psychological and emotional issues.
  • Applied Behavior Science Specialist (ABSS)


  • Email Support
  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900
  • North Dakota Career Resource Network
    ndcrn@nd.gov | (701) 328-9733