When people are suffering from stress, mental health problems or other concerns that affect their overall well-being, they might consult clinical psychologists for treatment. These specially trained mental health professionals have doctoral degrees in clinical psychology and state licenses to practice. Many clinical psychologists are self-employed and work in private practice, but they also might be employed in other settings depending on their areas of expertise.
Health Care Organizations
Clinical psychologists are employed by a wide range of health care organizations, such as hospitals, managed care companies, rehabilitation centers, substance abuse treatment clinics and assisted living facilities. In such settings, they are often members of interdisciplinary health care teams consisting of other professionals, such as doctors, nurses, social workers, physical therapists or occupational therapists. Clinical psychologists in health care organizations might perform diverse roles, such as providing psychological testing, counseling, assessments, diagnoses and treatment plans or evaluating managed care claims.
Schools and Educational Institutions
Clinical psychologists also might work in public or private schools, especially if they have earned their doctoral degrees in a combined clinical and school psychology program. They may work with students to help them with academic, social or psychological concerns by offering assessments, counseling and referrals. They also may be employed as professors, researchers or clinicians in university counseling centers.
Mental Health Clinics
When patients don't have mental health insurance coverage or can't afford to see clinical psychologists in private practice, they might seek assistance from government-run and non-profit community clinics. Mental health clinics employ a wide range of professionals, such as counselors, psychiatrists, social workers and psychologists, to provide assessments, evaluations, diagnosis and treatment. Clinical psychologists in mental health clinics usually offer treatment in the form of individual, couples, family or group psychotherapy. They help patients cope with a variety of mental health concerns, such as depression, anxiety, grief, job stress, relationship issues and family problems.
While the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the largest percentage of clinical psychologists are self-employed or work in mental health clinics, educational institutions and health care facilities, some clinical psychologists work in corporations, legal organizations, governmental agencies and the military. They might advise managers in business settings, help servicemen and women and their families cope with the stresses of military life, provide assessments and expert evaluations in courts or work in corporate or government-run employee assistance programs.