Professional Psychologists

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Professional Psychologists

Professional Psychologist

The past 30 years have seen a tremendous expansion of the roles played by doctoral level professional psychologists. The professional psychology movement has been a significant contributor to this growth of psychologists serving the needs of individuals and society.

Psychologists study the human mind and human behavior. There are many different kinds of psychologists, including clinical psychologists, health psychologists, neuropsychologists and geropsychologists.

Clinical psychologists interview patients and administer diagnostic tests. They give individual, family, or group psychotherapy. They also design behavior modification programs based on their observations. They rehabilitate and treat people that are emotionally disturbed, in personal crisis, or addicted to drugs and illegal substances. Psychologists hold about 166,000 jobs, and forty percent of those were for educational institutions.

The average income of all psychologists is $48,050 a year. Over fifty percent of all psychologists make between $36,570 and $70,870 a year. The highest average income is from psychologists working in offices of other healthcare practitioners, and the lowest average income is from psychologists working in state governmental institutions. Most psychologists start of making around $45,000 dollars.

In the early 1970's an important development occurred in the education and training of psychologists who later entered the practice of psychology. This was the creation of education and training programs modelled after other schools that trained professionals such as medicine, dentistry and law. This lead to the emergence of the practitioner-scholar model in the training of psychologists. The focus of this model is to build upon a broad base of scientific foundations of psychology a comprehensive and well-rounded course of study that prepares students to provide services and utilize practical skills, such as psychological testing, psychotherapy, consultation and clinical supervision. To distinguish this practitioner-focused model from the more academic and scientific model, professional schools of psychology typically award the Doctor of Psychology or Psy.D.

Individuals earning a Psy.D. can receive their education from programs that have been accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). The APA is recognized throughout the United States and the world as the organization that represents the interests of psychology to the public and professional communities. In addition, persons who receive a Psy.D. are eligible to be licensed as psychologists, to receive reimbursement from governmental and private insurance, and to work in the same types of settings as persons who previously received the more research/science-oriented PhD degree.

There are many different types of psychologists, as is reflected by the 56 different divisions of the American Psychological Association (APA). Psychologists are generally described as being either "applied" or "research-oriented". The common terms used to describe this central division in psychology are "scientists" or "scholars" (those who conduct research) and "practitioners" or "professionals" (those who apply psychological knowledge). The training models endorsed by the APA require that applied psychologists be trained as both researchers and practitioners, and that they possess advanced degrees.

Most typically, people encounter psychologists and think of the discipline as involving the work of clinical or counseling psychologists. While counseling and psychotherapy are common activities for psychologists, these applied fields ...
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