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Clinical vs Counseling Psychology Essay


The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast the primary goals of a clinical psychologist and a counseling psychologist, explain perspectives on treatment similar and how are they different, and discuss the educational requirements for each. This paper will also discuss what type of setting are we likely to find each, identify which professional association each would be affiliated with as well as which Code of Ethics regulates each professional and explain the advantages and disadvantages to each of these professions.

Primary Goals of Clinical Psychologist

Assessment – This includes interviewing, observation and testing; all clinical psychologists need to be thoroughly trained in this area and should be able to choose the correct type of testing/method when conducting this with the client. They test such things as intellect, cognitive processes, and social functioning along with this, being able to interpret the test is also essential to clinical psychologist (Vallis & Howes, 1996). Diagnosis – As well as being able to conduct test, a major role also includes the ability to diagnosis using multiple models (Vallis & Howes, 1996). Intervention – Giving the client the inner strength to acclimatize themselves to change and gain a sense of power in everyday living (Vallis & Howes, 1996). Research – The ability to implement and conduct different programs both basic and applied.

This is a fundamental function of clinical psychologist in both clinical and academic formats (Vallis & Howes, 1996). Consultation/Program Development – Working with peers who work with clients, interacting with peers, contributing their services for the bettering of the program, and obtaining supervision (Vallis & Howes, 1996). Clinical psychologists have a skill set which provides a much needed service to society. They use it by practicing, creating and evaluating applied and scientific skills (Vallis & Howes, 1996).

Primary Goals of Counseling Psychologist

Some goals include expounding on the overall mental aspect when working with families, communities, and individuals. Working with those individuals in distress and experiencing troubling times in areas such as family, relationships, making decisions, life events and career moves just to name a few (Bedi et al, 2011). Their goal is to be well informed with how humans think, feel, their personal life, sexual relations, and even recreational activity to name a few. The counselor’s job is to expose the inadequacies and provide a remedy that will correct those issues (Watkins, 1983).

Educational Requirement for Clinical Psychologist

To be called a “clinical psychologist” one first would have to obtain a doctorate then become licensed in the state you want to practice in. The two types of degrees are PhD, which focuses more on research and PsyD which places emphasis on the applied facet of clinical psychology (Sternberg, 2007).

Educational Requirement for Counseling Psychologist

To obtain this “title” one must complete the required and accepted doctorial degree, complete a minimal of two years in what is called “supervised practice” and apply to be licensed in the state(s) you choose to practice in (Kuther & Morgan, 2009).

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages – The following advantages are from a psychology forum. (1) Being of help is self-fulfilling (2) You can set your own work schedule (3) You have the opportunity to make a lot of money (4) You can be self employed. (5) Psychologists have the opportunity to touch countless of lives (Cherry, n.d). Disadvantages –The following disadvantages are from a psychology forum. (1) Issues with insurance and billing (2) Difficulty setting up your independent business (3) Working with clients can be challenging. (4) Psychologists have rough and complex work hours. (5) You spend devoted time to recruiting new clients (Cherry, n.d).

Bedi, R. P., Haverkamp, B. E., Beatch, R., Cave, D. G., Domene, J. F., Harris, G. E., & Mikhail, A. (2011). Counselling psychology in a canadian context: Definition and description. Canadian Psychology, 52(2), 128-138. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/870506935?accountid=39364 Cherry, K.
(n.d.). Advantages of Being a Psychologist. Psychology – Complete Guide to Psychology for Students, Educators & Enthusiasts. Retrieved August 5, 2013, from http://psychology.about.com/od/careersinpsychology/tp/psychologist-advantages.htm

Cherry, K. (n.d.). Disadvantages of Being a Psychologist – What’s the Worst Part About Being a Psychologist. Psychology – Complete Guide to Psychology for Students, Educators & Enthusiasts.Retrieved August 5, 2013, from http://psychology.about.com/od/careersinpsychology/tp/psychologist-disadvantages.htm Kuther, T. L., & Morgan, R. D. (2009). Careers in psychology, opportunities in a changing world. (3rd ed. ed.). Boston: Wadsworth Pub Co. Sternberg, R. J. (2007). Career paths in psychology. Washingtion, DC: American Psychological Association. Vallis, T. M., & Howes, J. L. (1996). The field of clinical psychology: Arriving at a definition. Canadian Psychology, 37(2), 120-127. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/220807484?accountid=39364 Watkins, C. E. (1983). Counseling psychology versus clinical psychology: Further explorations on a theme or once more around the “identity” maypole with gusto . The Counseling Psychologist, 11(4), 76-92. doi: 10.1177/0011000083114012

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