Psychology technicians are health-care professionals who assist psychologists and other mental health practitioners with patients under their care. Their duties may involve direct patient care and assessment to help evaluate, diagnose and treat individuals who need mental-health treatment. They may work with specific types of individuals, such as veterans with post-traumatic stress syndrome, children with autism or those institutionalized with mental or physical conditions.
Generally, the minimum requirement for psychology technicians is a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related discipline. Many employers require a master’s degree. Some states require psychology technicians to obtain a license to practice professionally. To obtain a license, candidates must complete a state-approved education program, submit an application and fee, and pass a written and oral credentialing exam. Licensing details vary from state to state, however.
Psychology technicians work in a variety of health-care settings. They include hospitals, institutions, outpatient care centers and psychologists’ offices. Some psychology technicians work for government agencies that provide services and care for veterans, non-profit organizations for those with special needs and research organizations that study disorders and mental health problems.
Observation and Assessment
Using their education and training, psychology technicians observe patients for evaluation. They use psychological assessment tools and tests that are based on each patient's needs and symptoms. The observation and evaluation of patients include behavioral traits, capabilities, interests and day-to-day activities. Psychology technicians provide basic care to patients while they do their observation and assessment.
After the evaluation and assessment of patients, psychology technicians document the information for psychologists and other members of treatment teams. They may compile data for one patient, or for a group setting. Psychology technicians participate in developing treatment programs with other psychology professionals based on their findings.