How To Become Clinical Psychologist

This article provides in-depth information into What is Clinical Psychologist? What Clinical Psychologist do? Degrees for Clinical Psychologist, Steps to become Clinical Psychologist and much more.

Clinical Psychologist

Clinical Psychologists cure more serious emotional, mental, and behavioral problems of his patients ranging from children to seniors. The contrast between a counseling psychologist and a clinical psychologist is that a counseling psychologist treats sound people who have few mental problems, whereas a clinical psychologist treats major issues. The treatment incorporates, meeting with the client, conducting different tests and interviews, setting up an arrangement for treatment and checking the advances.

What does Clinical Psychologist do ?

  • Identify different mental and behavioral issues.
  • Diagnose psychological disorders.
  • Prepare a treatment plan.
  • Guide the client to achieve certain goals for effective treatment.
  • Continuously monitor client’s progress and adjust the plan if necessary.
  • Conduct and publish research on mental, behavioral and emotional issues.

Steps for becoming Clinical Psychologist


A Bachelor’s degree in psychology will give a solid foundation to students who want to pursue a career as a clinical psychologist. The student should also engage in research and internship to increase their chances getting in a good college as this field is very competitive.


Unlike bachelors, there is a specific program available in clinical psychology in Masters. To get enrolled in a master’s program in clinical psychology students should have high GRE score and prior research work.


Getting accepted in a doctorate degree in clinical psychology is a tough nut to crack, as only a dozen get selected from hundreds of applicants. There are two programs in doctorate level, Ph.D. in psychology or Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology and PsyD, or Doctor of Psychology degree. The first program is for students who want to go to research field and the second one prepares the students for clinical work.


To get licensed as professional clinical psychologist students need to complete a two year or 3000 hours of the resident clinical training program under the supervision of a licensed clinical psychologist.


To get a license a student has to earn a doctorate degree from an accredited program, complete training with a specific no of hours, and pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology administered by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards. To stay licensed a continuous education is mandatory.

Clinical Psychologist Salaries

Clinical Psychologist

Clinical Psychologist Degree Levels


An associate’s degree in psychology is 2-year course and provides a fundamental introduction to psychology. It’s a stepping stone toward a career as a clinical psychologist. Most of the entry-level jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree; associates can work with licensed psychologists.

Psychological Disorders

  • Diagnostic judgments

  • Diagnostic categories

  • DSM multi-axial system


What constitutes a psychological disorder and examine everything from depression and addiction to schizophrenia and dissociative disorders.

Developmental Stages

  • Development Study

  • Practical Investigation

  • Reproductive biology


The graph of how human mind develops and acquires skills as humans grow.

Personality Types and Theories

  • Three Dimensions of Personality Theory

  • Recent Trends in Personality

  • Individual Differences and Similarities


To understand different types of personalities and general theories about how they are formed.


A bachelor’s degree in psychology is a combination of science and liberal arts. Some students also choose to do a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Most of the bachelor's program in psychology or sociology is a combination of lecture and lab courses.

General Psychology

  • The evolution of psychology

  • Sensation and perception

  • Variations in consciousness


Fundamentals of psychology and application of scientific psychology to human behavior.

Statistical Reasoning in Psychology

  • Descriptive statistics & probability distribution

  • Hypothesis testing

  • Statistical inference


Application of descriptive and inferential statistics with an emphasis in psychology.

Biological Foundations of Psychology

  • Anatomy of the human brain

  • The relation between brain and mental illness

  • Effects of Drugs and Hormones on Behaviour


Explores the relationship between a human's biological system and human behavior.


A master’s degree in clinical psychology concentrates on a specific specialization and includes study of ethics, personality related tests and program evaluation.

Clinical Psychology

  • Definition of Normality/Abnormality

  • The Clinical Interview

  • Psychotherapy


Diagnosis and treatment of mental illness and disabilities.

Applied Behavior Analysis

  • Observing and Measuring Behavior

  • Stimulus Control

  • Differential Reinforcement


Changing human behavior with the application of techniques of human learning and motivation.

Evaluation, Research, and Measurement

  • Validity and reliability

  • Hypothesis testing

  • Variables


Introduce students to different theories, skills, and applications, in the field of research methodology.


Ph.D. programs in clinical psychology are highly selective. Many programs review over 250 applications annually and from that pool interview 25-50 students from which they select and accept only 4-8 graduate students. Students who are accepted into these highly competitive programs are often rewarded with full funding through graduate teaching and research assistantships as well as fellowships and grants that typically cover tuition, provide health insurance, and offer an annual stipend

Addiction and Recovery psychology

  • Effects of addictive behavior

  • Models and strategies for treating

  • The social construction of addiction


Identify behavior and traits of an addict and paths to recovery and its impact on psychology.

Child therapy

  • Introduction to the world of children

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

  • Issue in counselling


Addressing mental health concerns of a child and formulating treatments.

Forensic psychology

  • Police Psychology

  • Criminal Insanity

  • Psychopaths


Studies criminals and crimes they have done to understand traits of a criminal.


Online certification is best for the students who have a job, as becoming a clinical psychologist takes years and students have to work to support their studies. Luckily, online degrees in psychology are accessible at both the undergrad and graduate levels. Before enrolling in an online degree program, students should check to ensure it is properly accredited. At the undergraduate level, regional accrediting boards are the gold standard. Once students reach the graduate level, they should look for programs accredited by the American Psychological Association.

Adult Psychopathology

  • Ability to diagnose different mental disorders

  • Facilitating assessment and treatment plans

  • Understanding modern ideas of psychopathology


An overview of the development of ideas about psychopathology from history to modern ages.

Humanistic Theory

  • Driving forces behind human life

  • Ability to help patients recognize primal feelings.

  • How to properly diagnose and treat disorders


The historical underpinning of the field and uncovers ideas related to the Third Force, the existentialist movement, and ideas of spirituality.

Cross-Cultural Psychology

  • How social and cultural factors affect behavior

  • Ability to help patients recognize these influences

  • Frameworks devoted to addressing diversity and therapy


Focus on sociological and cultural implications of human behavior.