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Clinical psychologists aim to reduce psychological distress and enhance and promote psychological well-being.

They work with people with mental or physical health problems which might include:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Serious and enduring mental illness
  • Adjustment to physical illness
  • Neurological disorders
  • Addictive behaviours
  • Childhood behaviour disorders
  • Personal and family relationships.

They often work with people throughout their lives and with people who have learning disabilities.

Working as a clinical psychologist

Clinical psychologists work largely in health and social care settings, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Health centres
  • Community mental health teams
  • Child and adolescent mental health services
  • Social services.

They will often work alongside other professionals, including doctors, nurses, social workers, occupational therapists and physiotherapists.

To assess a client, a clinical psychologist may undertake a clinical assessment, using a variety of methods including, psychometric tests, interviews and direct observation of behaviour. Assessment may lead to therapy, counselling or advice.

What is Psychiatry?

Psychology and Psychiatry often get mixed up. 
 Psychiatry is the study of mental disorders and their diagnosis, management and prevention. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have qualified in psychiatry. They often combine a broad general caseload alongside an area of special expertise and research. Psychologists on the other hand are not usually medically qualified.

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