Human beings have faced numerous physical and psychological challenges for as long as they have existed in the world. Successful attempts have been made to address these problems through research, teaching, and general sensitization of the people (Plante, 2005). Over the past few centuries, many advanced approaches have emerged.
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The essay will focus on clinical psychology; its primary goal and licensure requirements. It will also discuss psychiatry, psychiatric nursing, counseling psychology, marriage and family therapy (MFT), school psychology, and social work. The discussion will bring out the similarities and differences of the fields to clinical psychology.
Clinical psychology as a field is believed to have emerged towards the end of the 19th century. It involves the use of scientific methods of study as well as psychological approaches with an aim of understanding psychological problems and related distresses (Brewer, 2001).
The field aims at preventing and treating the challenges in order to develop and enhance an individual’s well-being. Clinical psychologists engage in assessing psychological status of their clients and providing appropriate psychotherapeutic interventions but not medication (Plante, 2005).
In addition, they conduct researches, teach and provide consultation services, aid in forensic matters, as well as developing and administering relevant programs. In order to be recognized and licensed, clinical psychologists have to go through rigorous graduate training that seek to empower them and enhance their competence.
Both areas of specialization of research and practice are certified by the English-speaking psychological societies, like the American Psychological Association (APA) (Plante, 2005). Before being allowed to practice, clinical psychologists must obtain the Psychologist license. The APA provides a comprehensive code of conduct which is used in defining the requirements for obtaining a license (Brewer, 2001).
Just like clinical psychologists, psychiatrists’ objective is the alleviation of psychological problems facing human beings. However, psychiatrists are distinguished by the fact that they hold medical degrees which allow them to diagnose and prescribe medication to their clients (Plante, 2005). They are also trained to offer psychotherapeutic interventions. Psychiatrists are in real sense registered physicians. Approved psychiatrists must have a Psychiatrist license.
Psychiatric nursing, on the other hand, aims at providing care to clients with mental problems for instance schizophrenics, psychotics, and those suffering from depression. Unlike clinical psychologists, psychiatric nurses are trained to deal with more complex behavior as a result of mental challenges. They also receive training on how to administer psychiatric medications. These nurses must be licensed as practicing mental health nurses (PMHN).
Counseling psychologists, on the other hand, seek to help people face common challenges in life like anxiety, sadness, relationship tensions, and general stresses brought about by dramatic changes in one’s ordinary life (Plante, 2005). Just like clinical psychologists, they employ psychological methods of assessment and psychotherapeutic approaches.
Their roles are more of educational hence have less graduate training programs compared to those of clinical psychologists. A practicing counselor must be a licensed professional counselor (LCP certificate). There are counseling psychologists who specialize in marriage-related issues and must have a Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) license in order to operate.
Moreover, there are school psychologists whose primary goal is to ensure the academic, social, as well as emotional tranquility among the children and teenagers found in a schooling environment (Plante, 2005). School psychologists who hold PhDs can be licensed as health service psychologists just as is the case for clinical psychologists.
However, the training of clinical psychologists emphasizes on educational aspects as well as growth and development in children and their behaviors. They are also trained on the understanding of the learning process from a psychological perspective.
Another important discipline that works mutually with clinical psychology is social work. Clinical social workers’ primary goal is the provision of services that seek to address social issues. Social workers are eligible for being registered as counseling psychologists after undergoing additional special training (Plante, 2005). A common degree level for social workers in the U.S. is a Masters in Social Work.
Brewer, K. (2001). Clinical Psychology. Heinemann
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Plante, T. G. (2005). Contemporary Clinical Psychology. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.