Clinical psychologists aim to reduce the distress and improve the psychological wellbeing of their clients. They use psychological methods and research to make positive changes to their clients' lives and offer various forms of treatment.
The Skills Required
You will need to show evidence of the following:
- empathy and a person-centred approach to clients;
- tolerance of stress;
- the ability to recognise your own limitations and respond to difficult situations;
- the ability to apply your knowledge of academic psychology and research to clinical problems;
- the capacity to be critical and analytical and to work in a self-motivated, independent way;
- excellent communication and interpersonal skills in order to deal with people in distress;
- the ability to collaborate with colleagues from other disciplines;
- the determination to succeed;
- a strong understanding of the profession and the role of a clinical psychologist, and an awareness of current NHS issues.
In order to use the protected title clinical psychologist, you must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), which involves completing three years of postgraduate training leading to a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, or equivalent, approved by the HCPC.
In order to get a place on a Doctorate course, you will need Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC), which is achieved by completing a psychology degree or conversion course accredited by The British Psychological Society (BPS). For a full list of GBC qualifying courses see the BPS Accredited Psychology Courses.
Most Doctorate course providers are looking for a first class honours degree or a good 2:1, although some may accept a 2:2 if you have a relevant Masters degree or above.