Why Enroll For A Clinical Psychology PhD Program(s)?

Earning a PhD.  in clinical psychology can open up the gates to a lot of career opportunities. Such a PhD. program(s) in clinical psychology educates graduate student(s) on how a human brain works and what makes individuals respond or behave in a particular manner. The goal of such clinical practicums is to improve their understanding of all psychological principles.

It also improves their research methods needed to advance in specific fields of diagnosis like substance abuse, disabilities in learning, and even mental illness. So, in simple terms, clinical psychology PhD programs require the study and mastery of all psychological treatments- including the severe ones! And with all that knowledge, students help better the care and services presented to patients and the general people.

What to Expect from Clinical Psychology PhD Programs?

Clinical psychology PhD programs take 5-7 years to complete. This includes the course training, its practical examination, and its dissertation. Aspiring individuals need to apply for a state license post-graduation. But since every state has its requirement, students should call up their state board of psychology and know everything.

Some common ones include licensure examinations, certification examinations, and a 2000 + hour supervised internship. Along with that, students also need to get a Doctorate in clinical science and social psychology. They can choose from either of these two – Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology.

To procure a PhD program in clinical psychology, you will first have to earn your bachelor’s degree from graduate school. You may think of getting a master’s degree in clinical psychological training, but then you may not need it for your doctorate.

It usually takes four years to complete your PhD course with another for the internship. However, once you are done with all this, you can then sit for the state and national examinations. And on passing the exams, you will get your license to practice clinical psychology whenever you want.

Alternatively, you can also choose the Psy.D. They are more practical-based as opposed to the standard PhD program, which consists of more research-based study. But, if you wish to practice professionally along with research and teach, then PhD in clinical psychology is more suitable.

Coursework For These Programs Will Varies From One To Another.

Career options for Clinical Psychology PhD Programs

However, here are some popular ones which you can choose.

  • Introduction to Clinical Practice
  • Clinical Internship
  • Introductory Statistics
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Psychological Assessment
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychopathology
  • Biopsychology
  • Theories of Psychotherapy
  • Diversity and Multicultural Issues in Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Personality Assessment
  • Clinical Practicum
  • Advanced Statistics
  • Research Methods

What Can You Do With a PhD. in Clinical Psychology?

Clinical psychology PhD programs give individuals a better understanding of the human mind. By focusing on both the research and clinical work, it introduces candidates to a whole new world of exciting career opportunities. To name a few –

  • Psychotherapist 

Whether you wish to conduct your private practice(s) or practice in schools, hospitals, and mental health clinics, you can become a psychotherapist. The role of a psychotherapist is to conduct sessions for couples, individuals, and also do family therapy. Be it at their private setting or a clinic; they help these people manage their stress, depression, and psychological sicknesses.

What’s more, a clinical psychologist serving as a psychotherapist also evaluates their personality disorders, IQ tests, learning in capabilities, and more!

  • Clinical Scientist

Individuals with PhD. in Clinical Psychology can also perform the role of a clinical practitioner/scientist. Strictly focusing on research work, the role of a clinical scientist is to conduct various experiments, compile statistic data, attend professional conferences; and pen down scientific papers.

What’s more, a clinical scientist can also work in research institutions to learn more about psychological illness. They also determine how effective present interventions are and even come up with discoveries promising better outcomes.

  • A University Professor

Those who completed their clinical psychology PhD programs can also teach at Universities. As per University reports, they combine their knowledge and research with psychotherapy to educate under-grad aspirants and prepares students to get the necessary support and assistance. Their other responsibilities include conducting clinical research and supervising dissertations.

Candidates with clinical psychology PhD course training can also try out other fields, like educational, abnormal, and developmental psychology.

  • School Psychologist

Another popular career choice for you is that of a school psychologist. The primary responsibilities include delivering proper care to every child and taking more part in their learning programs.

school psychologist(s) also works with the other members of the school to treat and diagnose children. They even interact with children and their families regularly to eliminate whatever issues they face.

  • Counselling Psychologist

Counseling psychologist is one more career option to choose with this doctorate. In this role, candidates will have to spend more time communicating and mingling with the patients. This is either in group therapy or individual sessions.

Depending on their problems, a counselling psychologist will work through each of their issues using different approaches and principals. Furthermore, they are well versed with all social, educational, cultural, and psychological aspects which hamper a person’s behavior and thinking. And using that knowledge, they help patients come to terms with those patterns.

  • Cross-Cultural Psychologist

The role of a cross-culture psychologist is to work closely with every mentally-ill or challenged patient. They determine those psychosocial aspects which hamper the patient’s mental health. Being familiar with the social, educational, cultural, and psychological issue which influences a person’s behavior, they help patients understand those influences.

This is another fascinating line of work that awaits candidates who completed their clinical psychology PhD programs.

  • Clinical Interviewers

A popular career choice for those possessing a clinical psychology PhD is the role of a clinical interviewer. The key responsibilities include interviewing all kinds of clients, visitors, and patients. The interviewing is also conducted using humanistic, non-Freudian, and other psychotherapeutic approaches.

Furthermore, a clinical psychologist in the role of a clinical interviewer will always ensure every patient feels safe and comfortable.

  • Other Miscellaneous Career Options 

In addition to the ones above, there are many other career options after getting a clinical psychology PhD. Individuals can use their acquired clinical training for many different fields of work.

The popular ones are – psychological profiling with law enforcement, business/govt consultants, experts in psychological testing, risk assessments in law courts, etc.

Necessary Skills to Work as a Clinical Psychologist

To become a clinical psychologist, you will need specific skills to be successful. At the base level, here are some skills which clinical psychologists should have.

  • Ability To Communicate 

The most critical skill set for a clinical psychologist is to be able to communicate ideas and information. Be it with their patients or in research settings, proper communication is essential!

  • Active Listener

A clinical psychologist should also be an active listener. The majority of issues and disorders they come across are complicated and not easy to treat. They are too tough to communicate, simply as patients don’t know what’s happening with them. A clinical psychologist properly listens and gives attention to every detail. Using their skills, they try to read in-between the lines and accordingly treat their patients.

  • Social Perception 

A clinical psychologist also carefully watches over the non-verbal actions of their patients to determine their emotions and feelings. At most times, the patients may not be able to express their difficulty or their sickness. But, they do provide cues which the clinical psychologist picks up to understand their behaviour and actions.

  • Logical And Well-Reasoned Thinking 

Critical thinking is always an essential skill for a clinical psychologist. Be it for treating patients, creating diagnostic plans, crafting experiments; they have to analyze issues from all aspects and look for alternatives.

  • Teaching & Ability To Sort Data 

A clinical psychologist can explain why and how of all the latest and complicated concepts to associates, faculty members, and patients. With that, they should possess high – order analysis and sorting our facts and details, which denote possible relevance and patterns.

  • Should Be Straightforward & Have Good Judgement 

Clinical psychologists should be straightforward and must consider their patients’ interests first. At times, when handling complicated situations, they should make the practical decision best to their compassion and clinical know-how.


According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, having a PhD in clinical psychologist presents you with lots of prosperous career options. Plus, it also allows you to help the people in need with those learned skills and training.

If you aspire to obtain a PhD in Clinical psychologist, then find a quality Clinical psychology PhD programs and enrol!