dcsimg
 

Typical Day for a Clinical Psychologist

Home > Ask the Guidance Counselor > Psychologist > What's a Typical Day like for a Clinical Psychologist?

Clinical psychologists work with a wide range of mental, emotional and behavioral disorders. They might work with people facing short-term issues, or people who have chronic problems. Strategies may vary by specialty, but some of the work is the same throughout the field, such as:

  • Conducting interviews
  • Planning out treatments
  • Offering diagnostic testing
  • Encouraging individual, family or group therapy

Clinical psychologists work very closely with other medical professionals to provide the best care possible. In some states, they have the ability to prescribe medications in addition to providing therapy. Clinical psychologists often chose to focus on one particular population, such as the elderly or adolescents. They can also specialize in a particular situation that patients might face, such as substance abuse or brain injuries.

Students interested in online psychology programs can often benefit from learning about the experiences of those who have already walked this career path. Dr. Samantha Rafie, Ph.D., is a pain psychologist with the Bay Area Pain & Wellness Center. She shared with us her career path, day-to-day work and other points of being a clinical psychologist.

About the Expert

Dr. Samantha Rafie, Ph.D., is a pain psychologist with the Bay Area Pain & Wellness Center.

Why did you become a clinical psychologist?

Rafie: I am inspired by helping others become their best selves. Clinical psychology is the pathway that allows me to provide both support and structure to move patients towards increased insight, motivation to change, and progress.

What does a clinical psychologist do?

Rafie: A typical workday [for me] involves leading group psychotherapy and individual sessions, interdisciplinary team meetings, consultation with providers, interpreting psychodiagnostic assessments, documentation, and chart review.

Are there specializations in clinical psychology?

Rafie: There are numerous specialty areas within clinical psychology, including health psychology, forensic psychology, neuropsychology, rehabilitation psychology, child psychology, and geriatric psychology. In my doctoral training, I focused in health psychology, and later completed a postdoctoral fellowship in pain psychology, which is a subset of health psychology focused on the management of chronic pain. My work with pain patients has a rehabilitative emphasis, where I facilitate each individual's journey towards improved emotional and cognitive functioning as well as reintegration into their lives that have become so small and disconnected due to pain.

What are the preferred skills of a psychologist?

Rafie: A psychologist must be intelligent and considerate in order to best help patients as they problem solve. Of course it is important to listen actively and provide a supportive and therapeutic environment for change to occur, but the psychologist must also bring in their ability to confront difficult behaviors, set boundaries when necessary and be comfortable teaching patients new and relevant coping skills to address their struggles.

Why would you recommend someone enter this career field?

Rafie: This is difficult and challenging work. You see people at their worst, and also working toward their best, wherein lies the fruits of your labor. For those who are compelled to work in the area of clinical psychology, I say, let your passion drive you forward. Recognize that it is hard work and the field is impacted with a tremendous supply of clinicians. That said, there is always a demand for highly skilled providers.

Clinical Psychologist Career Outlook

Those who choose to pursue clinical psychology as a career might find impressive job growth awaits them. Employment for clinical, counseling and school psychologists is expected to grow by 20% nationwide from 2014 to 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to data from Projections Central, the states with the highest growth during that time period include:

  • Utah (37.3%)
  • Kentucky (31.4%)
  • Florida (28.5%)
  • Maryland (25.7%)
  • Nevada (25.6%)

The demand for psychologists, including clinical psychologists, is expected to grow due to move individuals and families seeking help with various problems. An aging population, along with the mental and emotional issues that come along with growing older, are also expected to spur demand. Clinical psychologists might also find good employment opportunities in schools, hospitals, mental health centers and social service agencies.

Want to learn more about becoming a clinical psychologist? The journey can begin by searching through the online psychology programs offered through the schools below.

Sources:

  • Psychologists, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm#tab-1
  • Interview with Samantha Rafie, PhD, June 22, 2015
  • Long-Term Projections, Projections Central, https://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm

Browse Clinical Psychology Programs

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Prefer exploring options talking to our staff?
            Call toll free now: 1.855.330.6938
            Matching School Ads
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
            • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
            • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
            • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
            • Features a competency-based MBA program that allows students to test out of subjects based on prior professional experience.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            4 Program(s) Found

            See What’s Possible When You Earn a Degree at Florida Tech 100% Online

            Whatever your motivation for considering an undergraduate or graduate degree, Florida Tech offers programs online that can meet your needs. Here are a few reasons Florida Tech may be the right choice for you.

            • Online Courses
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
            • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year.
            • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities ( beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities. 
            • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            5 Program(s) Found
            • There's still time to apply to Grand Canyon University and pursue your education. Learn more today!
            • Study on your schedule - GCU offers many programs 100% online to fit your busy lifestyle.
            • GCU offers a variety of opportunities to reduce the cost of furthering your education. Campus students may qualify for scholarships, while online students can take part in limited special offers.
            • A regionally accredited university, GCU also holds specialized accreditations and approvals for some of our core program offerings.
            • Degrees in business, education, nursing, humanities and social sciences, theology and more. Find the degree that fits you.
            • Talk to us today to learn more about financial aid and start dates!
            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            3 Program(s) Found
            • Online MBA program ranked 6th in the USA by CEO magazine.
            • In a university-sponsored survey, 4 out of 5 alumni reported being satisfied with their experience.
            • #1 Online School for military veterans according to Military Times.
            • 75,000+ graduates across all industries offer extensive networking opportunities.
            • My Unique Student Experience (M.U.S.E.) lets students watch, view, read, or hear content.
            • Smartphone app available for on-the-go learning.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            4 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
            • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
            • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
            • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
            • Offers several programs in business, education, psychology, and more.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
            • Received the 2013 Making a Difference for Students Award from Quality Matters.
            • Offers a free student app for smartphones and tablets, helping students keep up to date.
            • Has a Golden Key International Honour Society and SALUTE Veterans Honor Society.
            • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Has students attend one four-week class at a time and take their final exam before moving on to their next class.
            • Offers 24/7 online tech support, with a typical response time of 4 hours or less.
            • Has online help centers that offer assistance with writing, statistics, medical assisting, and more.
            • Provides job placement assistance to all its students and alumni.
            • Researches trends for growing fields to tailor a more effective curriculum.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
            • About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
            • Online courses help make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 24 months and a master’s degree in 12-18 months.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Become an accountant, credit analyst, auditor, tax examiner, and more with an undergraduate degree in accounting.
            • Learn about accounting fundamentals, legal compliance and ethics, finance, marketing, leadership, economics, and quantitative decision making.
            • Work in the environment that suits you best. The B.S. in Accounting program prepares students for accounting careers in private, public, not-for-profit, and government organizations.
            • This program, along with other CSU-Global business degrees, is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
            • Each of our courses is 100% online, with no fixed class times or locations. All you need is an internet connection. Wherever you are, you’re already on campus.
            • Our programs are built for working adults. You complete coursework on your schedule, in your own time. Complete assignments and projects when it’s most convenient for you.
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits