What do psychologists do?
Psychology is the study of the mind, human experience and behavior. Psychologists are trained to help people cope more effectively with life problems, using therapeutic techniques based on the best available research and their own clinical skills and experience. Psychologists take into account each person's unique values, goals and circumstances and work collaboratively with the client to identify the goals of treatment and to decide how progress will be defined.
Psychologists spend an average of 7.2 years, in addition to their undergraduate college degree, in education and training. In California, psychologists use psychological testing to evaluate and treat a full range of emotional and psychological challenges. They coordinate the care of their clients in both outpatient and hospital settings. Psychologists also conduct research, and teach in academic settings.
In addition to conducting individual and group therapy with adults, adolescents, and children, psychologists are involved in many other areas of work. They coach other professionals to improve their communications skills, and to increase their productivity and job satisfaction. They work with athletes, actors and musicians to develop their concentration, reduce anxiety, and enhance their performance. They often obtain advanced training that allows them to provide specialized services such as the evaluation and treatment of stroke patients, assisting patients in the management of chronic pain, and providing expert testimony to our judicial system, offering guidance to the courts.
The California Board of Psychology is responsible for the licensure of psychologists in our state. In California, a mental health professional cannot be called a psychologist unless they are licensed as a psychologist.