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Clinical Psychology Education and Function

Clinical psychology is one of the many branches of psychology that focuses on the assessment as well as treatment of abnormal behavior, mental illness, and other psychological problems. In order to be a clinical psychologist in the US, a person has to earn a Ph.D. in psychology and undergo some training in a hospital, nursing home or other clinical settings. To work in the field of clinical psychology one has to meet rigorous educational requirements, and to most people this may mean spending at least four years in graduate school.
In this field of clinical psychology, students can either enroll in a Psy.D. program or in a Ph. D program. In general, the Psy.D. program puts more emphases on practice while the Ph.D. program on research. Prior to enrolling to any program in clinical psychology, students have to make sure that it is recognized by the American Psychological Association. Aside from completing his graduate training program, a student must also undergo a training supervised by mental health professionals. Lastly, he has to take and pass a licensure examination before he can become a full-pledged clinical psychologist. Because licensure requirements may differ by state, graduates can learn more by asking their state's licensing board.

Psychologists can treat various types of conditions or they may concentrate and work on particular conditions. They may focus on child psychology, family therapy, or on other groups. In some cases, a clinical psychologist may specialize in the treatment of one specific group of people. For instance, he may focus on patients suffering from a learning disorder such as autism. As psychologists advance in their profession, their training and choices can help determine in which particular areas of clinical psychology to focus.
Clinical psychologists may also work in various types of settings. Most of them work in institutes for people with mental disorder or in private practice. In some cases, psychologists may collaborate with social workers and therapists, or other mental health specialists as a member of a mental health team that provides various kinds of health care to people.