Clinical psychology

Clinical psychology in a generalized sense has been around for a long time. The importance of its applications and value in daily life situations has led to much research and advancement over the years. Although students may learn to identify the manifestations of mental illness, delving into their causes, diagnosis and treatment, there is also great emphasis on personal issues. It is now understood that people do require help and support when coping with tragedy or a sudden change in circumstance. Today, it is not only schools and hospitals that employ clinical psychologists, but also community centres, clinics and corporate houses. Researchers in this field are also much in demand.
When looking for postgraduate programs in clinical psychology, you will find that some colleges term it a Master’s in Applied Psychology. You will also notice that there are overlaps with child development and similar fields, but at the end of the day, all these courses prepare you for either licenced or non-licenced clinical practice. A non-licenced program will permit you to work in certain types of jobs, but not as a private practitioner. Hands-on clinical training is a major component of all good clinical psychology degree courses. Most programs will prepare you for doctoral work leading to certification.
Teachers College, Columbia University, has a Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology. The M.A. in Psychology in Education is actually targeted at students “interested in the field of Clinical Psychology and the mental health professions.” The course is actually designed to help students “clarify their interests” and to explore “the multiple avenues available in the ever-growing mental health field beyond.” This program covers a wide spectrum of subjects in the field of psychology, but students pursuing this degree will not be eligible for the independent practice of professional psychology. (www.tc.columbia.edu)
An M.Sc. in Developmental Psychology and Clinical Practice from University College London, is another option. Although the title of the course suggests a degree in developmental studies, it is aimed at preparing students for clinical practice, hence its inclusion here. This is a two year degree program, and is based at the Anna Freud Centre in London, which is well recognised for its research in the field of child mental health. Children are the main focus of this course, with a view to preparing students to work in clinical settings with children and families. (www.ucl.ac.uk)
Murdoch University, Perth, School of Psychology and Exercise Science offers a Master of Applied Psychology in Clinical Psychology. As with most degree courses in clinical psychology, research and hands-on experience are linked with coursework. After the first year, students are given the option of transferring to the Psychology PhD course. For students who do not wish to do a PhD, this Master’s program is recognised by the Australian government. (www.murdoch.edu.au)