Clinical psychologist Criminal psychologist, investigative psychologist, legal psychologist
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Clinical psychologists help people make positive changes to their thinking and behaviour.
1. Entry requirements
- a British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited degree in psychology, or completion of an approved conversion course
- Graduate Membership of the BPS
- a doctorate in clinical psychology
- work experience (often a minimum of 12 months) as a psychology assistant or research assistant, or in a relevant caring role
- registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
- clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
2. Skills required
- excellent communication and listening skills
- empathy and the ability to deal with people in distress
- honesty and integrity
- the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- problem-solving and decision-making skills
3. What you'll do
You’ll see people who have psychological difficulties like anxiety, depression, phobias or eating disorders.
Your day-to-day tasks may include:
- assessing clients’ needs through interviews, tests and observations
- deciding on the most appropriate form of treatment, like therapy, counselling or advice
- planning treatment programmes
- working with clients in groups or individually
- writing reports and going to case conferences
- carrying out research
Starter: £26,250 (trainee)
Experienced: £31,500 to £41,500
Highly Experienced: £82,500 to £99,500
Salaries will vary outside the NHS.
These figures are a guide.
5. Working hours, patterns and environment
You’ll usually work from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. You may sometimes need to work evenings or weekends, and you could be part of an emergency out-of-hours rota system.
Depending on your role, you may work with clients in:
- their homes
- local health centres
- mental health and disability services
- social services, schools and prisons
6. Career path and progressionWith experience, you could produce legal reports or act as an expert witness in court. You could specialise in working with groups like children, young offenders or older adults.
With experience and further training you could specialise in clinical neuropsychology.
You could move into research or teaching.
You could also work as a freelance consultant, advising other professionals and clients, or set up your own practice.
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Last updated: 13 September 2018