What is a clinical psychologist?

Clinical psychologist are mental health professionals that are extremely specialized and qualified to provide diagnosis and psychological treatment for mental, behavioural and emotional illnesses or life problems. For the clinical psychologist to understand what is occurring with their client they need to conduct a clinical assessment by always referencing to the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illness), which has all the symptoms and criteria for any psychological disorder. Following the clinical assessment, a diagnosis is established and based on the outcome a personalised treatment plan is developed taking into consideration all the needs and requirements of the client. Clinical Psychologist also tend to work very closely with psychiatrist as many of their clients may require medication.

Many people ask, “what is the difference between a Clinical Psychologist and Psychologist or Psychotherapist”? The difference is that a Psychotherapist or a Psychologist focus on the individual’s dysfunctional behaviours, emotions and everyday life functioning and less on pathological mental illness. A Clinical Psychologist specializes in assessment, diagnosis and the treatment of mental and psychiatric illness along with the everyday dysfunctional behaviours, emotions thoughts and functioning. They cover the entire spectrum of mental health.