The field of Clinical Psychology is one of the most well-known fields in Psychology. It is a branch of psychology which works with psychosocial issues of a clinical nature. Everyone has a bad day, where they are unable to cope with everyday issues of their routine. Sometimes, the problems itself are very stressful and disrupts the person’s regular function. Many people are today facing problems like work-life imbalance, marital problems, poor financial status, relationship issues, peer pressure, confusion with career choices, domestic violence, child with developmental retardation. Thus, there are individuals seeking expert help, to bring them back to their healthy mental functioning creating a demand for professionals.
TOP REASONS TO BECOME A CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST
- Work on yourself while working with others.
- The field is filled with prospects.
- A great way to gain diverse experiences.
- It always helps to understand human behaviour.
- With so many specialisations, one always finds his/ her niche.
WHAT DOES A CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST DO?
Clinical psychologists work closely with people seeking psychotherapeutic treatment for psychiatric disorders. Like mentioned before, sometimes daily life mental stress manifest into long-term illnesses like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, schizophrenia, trauma and substance abuse. Beyond core therapy on such issues, the therapist also works with psycho-education, rehabilitation and relapse prevention. Many a times, they also work with the family and/ or friends of the client as per the situation.
Many also choose to work with a groups and are not only concerned with individual well-being, but also regulating the group interactions.
Most clinicians are also trained to administer, analyse and formulate reports on psychometric tests and assessments. The tests can be for assessments of personality, intelligence, aptitude, neuromotor functioning or even diagnosis of clinical disorders.
WHAT ARE THE PROSPECTS OF A CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST?
Clinicians can work in a hospital, clinics or even NGOs. However, many open their own practice. Some even pursue clinical research and work at academic institutions.
IMPORTANT STEPS TO BECOME A CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST
1. To take this route, one can choose any stream in 11th and 12th. However, it is an added bonus if they take psychology as one of the subjects. CBSE, ICSE, IBDP and State Boards, all offer psychology as a subject after 10th.
2. During graduation, one must take up psychology as the major discipline, ideally with 6 papers of psychology across the undergraduate programme. Some colleges offering B.A./ B.Sc. in psychology are:
A. University of Delhi University of Delhi
B. Mumbai University Mumbai University – English
C. Pune University Savitribai Phule Pune University, One of the Premier Universities in
D. Jamia Millia Islamia Welcome to Jamia Millia Islamia – A Central University
E. Punjab University Official Website of Panjab University – Panjab University, Chandigarh
F. Christ University Christ University, Bengaluru – 560029
3. During graduation, explore the applications by interning at NGOs, Hospitals, Counseling Centres and Rehabilitation Centres to practically learn and experience the classroom theory.
4. Post graduation is important to specialise in this field. So secure admission into M.A./ M.Sc. in Psychology on the basis of their graduation marks or entrance exams in the following institutes :
A. Tata Institute of Social Sciences Welcome to Tata Institute of Social Sciences
B. Delhi University University of Delhi
C. Mumbai University Mumbai University – English
D. Ambedkar University Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University
E. Pune University Savitribai Phule Pune University, One of the Premier Universities in
F. Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women’s University SNDT Women’s University
G. Women’s Christian College Women’s Christian College – Kolkata
5. Supplement the post graduation with a long term field work experience. In addition to this, a strong research thesis is mandatory. These two boosts your understanding the field and prepares you to step out as a clinician.
6. Now one can either opt to start practicing or pursue higher degrees. Further studies are important to contribute to the field of academic research and education sector. While applying for M.Phil/ Ph.D./ Psy.D., the candidate must apply for an RCI licence (RCI | Norms and Guidelines – Rehabilitation Council of India) after the degree is awarded. A few known names offering higher degrees in the field:
A. Indian Institute of Technology Humanities and Social Sciences – IIT Bombay
B. National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences Nimhans | NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH AND NEURO
C. Rehabilitation Council of India Rehabilitation Council of India
As one’s thirst for knowledge is everlasting, there are many Career Counselling centres that address further concerns in this area. Brainwonders (www.brainwonders.in) is a well-known established organisation for the same, and they not only have patented DMIT tests but also experienced Clinical Psychologists for the same. They aim to propel an individual’s professional growth, so contacting such centres is a good idea for further information.