What do Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologists Do?
As people go through the difficult trials throughout their lives, it can be helpful to have someone to talk to about it. Counselors and psychologists have valuable skills that help people cope during some of the most difficult times of their lives. Whether someone is going through a traumatizing event or they just need a new perspective on things, counselors and psychologists are the ones who help.
Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologists Skills and Abilities
Psychology and counseling is a rapidly growing profession. You need some specific skills and abilities in order to stay successful in the field. Communication skills are a must. A great psychologist can properly communicate with a wide variety of people. Communication between you and someone you are counseling has to be great or you won’t be able to truly reach them. You also need to be open minded and tolerant. You will hear stories from many types of people who are involved in many different types of situations. You have to be able to keep an open mind and understand how they feel. If you are judging the people that you are supposed to be helping, you aren’t going to be able to help them properly.A great counselor or psychologist also needs to have a constant interest in continuing education. There is always new information regarding the world of psychology. You need to be able to keep up with the newest data and research so you can provide up-to-date insight when it comes to your patients. You also need to know the laws and proper ethics so you can help your patients properly while staying in the legal boundaries.
Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologists Duties
Clinical psychologists, counselors and school psychologists have slightly varying duties. Clinical psychologists primarily assess and treat mental health issues. You would use a variety of treatments including medicine, psychotherapy and counseling. Counselors specifically stick to therapy sessions. These include family and marriage counseling. School psychologists are a bit different. When kids are having trouble at school, they can make appointments with the school psychologist or counselor to help out. Sometimes kids will need to talk to someone about breaking up with someone at school, trouble they are having at home with their parents, or just have help when they’re having a bad day. However, no matter what type of counselor of psychologist you decide to be, you need to know how to:
- Recognize and diagnose mental illness
- Recognize behavioral patterns
- Design and implement behavior modification programs
- Help come up with coping skills
- Create mental health plans tailored to your patients needs
Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologists Tools and Technology
Psychologists and counselors don’t always use a lot of technology. Some might administer tests where data is run through special computer software to help with diagnosing and implementing different mental and behavioral disorders. You will also use a computer to write up all of your session notes and store them in your patient files. Your computer will also help you do research when you encounter a patient that you are having trouble diagnosing or helping. However, when it comes to interacting with your patients, you won’t usually be using technology during sessions.
Education and Training for Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologists
When it comes to education and training, it depends on how far you want to go. For example, if you decide that you want to be a school counselor, or just a counselor in general, you can begin working after you get your Masters Degree. With a masters, you can counsel families and individuals to help them with their problems. If you decide you want to work in clinical psychology, you will need to get a PhD. With your doctorate degree, you can diagnose mental illness and prescribe medications to help your patients.
Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologists Salary
The salary of a psychologist depends on how long you have been in the career. Clinical psychologists make about $65,000 per year during their first five years. Between 10 and 20 years, they make an average of $87,000 per year. After 20 years, they make around $100,000 per year. School psychologists make about $51,000 during their first 5 years. After 10, it goes up to about $70,000. After 20 years, the average is almost $80,000.
Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologists Jobs by Geography
California has the most clinical, counseling and school psychologists with 18,710. Next is New York with 10,600. The state with the third most psychologists is Texas with only 5,600. The states with the fourth and fifth most psychologists are Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.