Nowadays, the demand for clinical psychologists is higher than ever. There are many reasons why people may decide to see a clinical psychologist, including dealing with anxiety, depression, relationship problems, and more.
If you’re thinking of becoming a clinical psychologist, or are already in the process of training to become one, here are 10 tips to help you get started:
- Don’t forget the basics. Before you can start helping others, it’s important to make sure you have a firm understanding of psychology basics. Be sure to brush up on your knowledge of psychology concepts and theories before starting your clinical training.
- Know your way around a medical billing system. In order to get paid for your services, you’ll need to be well-versed in psychology medical billing. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the psychology CPT codes and get comfortable using a medical billing system before starting your practice.
- Keep up with continuing education requirements. In order to maintain your license, you’ll need to complete continuing education (CE) requirements on a regular basis. Be sure to research the CE requirements in your state and make a plan for how you’ll complete them before starting your practice.
- Get experience working with different populations. Clinical psychology is a broad field, and there are many different populations that you could potentially work with. During your training, be sure to get experience working with a variety of different populations so that you can decide which area you’d like to specialize in.
- Develop a niche. Once you’ve completed your training and have some experience under your belt, it’s time to start thinking about developing a specialty or niche. What population do you want to work with? What specific problem do you want to help people with? Answering these questions will help you focus your practice and attract clients.
- Know your state’s laws. Every state has different laws governing psychology practice, so it’s important to be familiar with the laws in your state before starting your practice. Be sure to research the requirements for licensure in your state and make sure you’re in compliance with all applicable laws.
- Stay up to date on research. As a clinical psychologist, it’s important to stay up to date on the latest research in psychology. Not only will this help you provide better care for your clients, but it will also make you more marketable to potential clients.
- Build a referral network. A large part of your job as a clinical psychologist will be marketing your services to potential clients. One of the best ways to do this is by building a referral network of doctors, therapists, and other professionals who can refer clients to you.
- Join professional organizations. Joining professional organizations is a great way to network with other psychologists, stay up to date on the latest research, and find resources for your practice. The American Psychological Association (APA) is a good place to start, but there are many other organizations you can join as well.
- Don’t forget about self-care. As a psychologist, you’ll be dealing with a lot of stress on a daily basis. It’s important to take care of yourself both physically and mentally in order to avoid burnout. Be sure to make time for exercise, relaxation, and social activities outside of work.
These are just a few tips to help you get started as a clinical psychologist. For more information, be sure to consult with your supervisor or training program director. And, of course, don’t forget to check out the APA’s resources for psychology students and early-career psychologists.
Do you have any other tips for psychology students or early-career psychologists? Share them in the comments below!