The Clinical psychologist is a psychologist who specializes in the treatment of psychological and behavioral disturbances or who does research on such disturbances.

It is a mental health professional with training in the behavioral sciences who provides direct service to clients; a member of a profession devoted to understanding and treating individuals affected by a variety of emotional, behavioral, and/or cognitive difficulties. Clinical psychologists may be involved in numerous activities, including psychotherapy, assessment and diagnosis, teaching, supervision, research, consultation, and administration. Moreover, Clinical psychologist is a professional who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the brain, emotional disturbance, and behavior problems. Psychologists can only use talk therapy as treatment; a person must see a psychiatrist or other medical doctor to be treated with medication. Psychologists may have a master's degree (MA) or doctorate (Ph.D.) in Psychology. They may also have other qualifications which includes Board certification and additional training in a type of Therapy.

A "Clinical Psychologist" in the psychology context is a professional who specializes in diagnosing, treating, and preventing mental health disorders and psychological distress. They work with individuals, families, and groups to alleviate psychological suffering and improve mental well-being through various therapeutic techniques and interventions.


Clinical psychologists are trained to use a range of evidence-based treatments to help people manage and overcome mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), among others. They may employ psychotherapy (also known as talk therapy), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and other modalities tailored to the individual's needs. Unlike psychiatrists, clinical psychologists typically do not prescribe medication; in most jurisdictions, their treatment focuses on behavioral intervention and psychotherapy.

Application Areas

Clinical psychologists work in various settings, including:

  • Private practices: Offering therapy and counseling services to individuals and groups.
  • Hospitals and clinics: Providing psychological assessments, treatments, and consultations as part of multidisciplinary teams.
  • Academic and research institutions: Conducting research on mental health issues and teaching future psychologists.
  • Community mental health centers: Delivering mental health services to underserved populations.
  • Schools and educational institutions: Supporting students' mental health and educational achievement.

Well-Known Examples

Some well-known figures in the field of clinical psychology include Aaron T. Beck, known for developing Cognitive Therapy (now known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy); Carl Rogers, who founded Person-Centered Therapy; and Albert Ellis, who developed Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT).

Treatment and Risks

Clinical psychologists assess psychological problems through interviews, observations, and psychometric tests. Treatment plans are personalized, focusing on the client's unique conditions and needs. While therapy is generally beneficial, it also carries risks, such as emotional discomfort when discussing painful experiences. The ethical practice of clinical psychology requires confidentiality, informed consent, and respect for clients' rights and dignity.

Similar Terms or Synonyms

  • Psychotherapist: While this term can apply to clinical psychologists, it also encompasses professionals from other backgrounds who provide psychotherapy.
  • Counseling Psychologist: These professionals often focus more on healthier individuals with fewer psychological problems, though there is considerable overlap with clinical psychology.


Clinical psychologists play a crucial role in the mental health field, offering therapies and interventions for a wide range of psychological issues. Through their specialized training in human behavior, psychological assessment, and evidence-based treatment approaches, they help individuals achieve better mental health and navigate life's challenges.