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Online-Education.net > Ask the Guidance Counselor > Psychologist > How Can I Become a Clinical Psychologist?

How Can I Become a Clinical Psychologist?


by Elena Albright @ Jul 12, 2010

Question:
I want to become a clinical psychologist but my first degree is in organizational psychology. What do I do?

Answer:

Organizational psychologists typically work in organizational, corporate, or institutional settings with larger systems. Clinical psychologists focus on the problems of individuals and small groups. There may be some overlap in coursework.

Generally if you want to become a clinical psychologist you will need to enroll in a doctoral program. In a clinical psychology program you will study subjects such as abnormal psychology, normal development, psychological testing, statistics, psychological theories, and more. At a minimum it will take four years to complete your degree, but could go years longer depending on how long it takes you to do the dissertation.

Students in doctoral programs also complete an internship with a certain amount of supervised hours and do post-doctoral work hours before taking a state licensing exam. The internships can be in psychiatric hospitals, clinics, crisis centers, and other clinical settings.

When you say that you have a degree in organizational psychology, is it a master’s or bachelor’s degree? Perhaps if you are not ready to start a doctoral program in clinical psychology you might want to look at master’s degree programs in psychology or social work. Licensed clinical social workers can practice therapy like psychologists.

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