Clinical psychologist

Clinical psychology deals with a wide range of mental and physical health problems including addiction, anxiety, depression, learning difficulties and relationship issues.

This page has information on the role of a clinical psychologist. There are also links to further information. 

Working life 

Psychology is the study of how people think and behave – a combination of science and practice. Using direct observation, interviews and techniques such as psychometric testing, you’ll make an assessment of a patient’s problem. Treatment requires the cooperation of the patient and you will work in partnership with them to treat and manage their condition. This will usually take place over a series of sessions. 

"One of the great advantages about working as a psychologist in the NHS, is that you can usually find job opportunities wherever you go". Louise Fountain, consultant clinical psychologist

Read Louise's story  

Clinical psychologists are trained to work with individuals of different ages with behavioural, emotional and/or psychological distress which disrupts their everyday functioning and well-being. They aim to reduce distress and to enhance and promote psychological well-being, minimise exclusion and inequalities and enable service users to engage in meaningful relationships and valued work and leisure activities.

As a clinical psychologist, you will draw on your scientific knowledge to bring about positive change. Treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy are now offered to people with range of mental health problems including anxiety and depression as well as more severe problems such as personality disorders.

Who will I work with?

You will work with individuals (including children, adults and older adults), couples, families and groups and at an organisational and community level. 

You may work as part of a multi-professional team including doctors, nurses and allied health professionals.

Many clinical psychologists also work in academia, teaching and researching in their area of expertise.

Where will I work?

You are likely to work in some, or all, of the following settings:

You will also liaise with members of community mental healthcare teams and other agencies such as the probation service and social services.

Want to learn more?

Other roles that may interest you

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