How to Become a Clinical Psychologist

Become a Clinical Psychologist

In our review of different careers we take a look at how to become a clinical psychologist and the qualities and education needed to become a highly-trained clinical psychologist.

What Does a Clinical Psychologist Do?

A clinical psychologist assists individuals with mental health issues to make positive changes in their thinking. They need to understand their patient's way of thinking so that they can assist them to make positive change.

As a clinical psychologist, you would be seeing people who have psychological difficulties such as anxiety, psychosis, schizophrenia and depression.  You would assess their needs through discussion and observations, plan treatment programmes, write reports and carry out further research into the field of mental health.

The hours of work are usually 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday.  The role will also involve working very closely with other professionals such as probation officers and doctors.

Is Becoming a Clinical Psychologist Right For Me?

To become a clinical psychologist, the following skills are vital:

  • A non-judgmental attitude.
  • Excellent listening skills.
  • A genuine desire to help people.
  • The ability to make people feel at ease with you.
  • Good communication skills and the ability to communicate effectively with people from all walks of life.
  • Empathy.
  • The ability to work to deadlines.

How Much Can a Clinical Psychologist Earn?

Within the NHS, a trainee clinical psychologist is paid £26,041.  Once qualified the pay rate is then between £31,072 and £40,964.  You can also progress in the field by becoming a consultant which pays up to £81,618.

What Qualifications Do I Need To Become a Clinical Psychologist?

To become a clinical psychologist you will need a degree in psychology, followed by 12 months paid or voluntary work as an assistant psychologist.  You will then need to complete a three-year postgraduate doctorate in clinical psychology.