The word psychologist is often associated with the image of a man or a woman sitting in an office opposite to a client, scribbling notes as the latter pours out their feelings. Sure, there’s an entire field of psychology that mainly utilizes psychotherapy —otherwise known as talking therapy— to help patients work through their issues, but psychologists can do a lot more than that. There are various types of psychologists who specialize in different areas concerning our mental wellbeing.
To seek the help you truly need, you must first understand the difference between the most common types of psychologists.
School psychology is concerned with studying the academic, social, behavioral, and emotional issues that children may experience at school. Whether it’s through direct intervention or by simply offering support and guidance, school psychologists can collaborate with teachers, parents, and students to ensure that the learning environment is safe, healthy, and supportive enough to encourage productivity.
For many kids, academic pressure can be a heavy burden to carry which is why you need to be aware of the stress signs that your child may exhibit if their education is affecting their well-being. If you’re not sure what to look for, this article covers the topic well and can offer you some insight on how to recognize the signs. If you have any reasons to believe that your child is struggling with a problem that’s behavioral, emotional, or academic in nature, working with a school psychologist can be the best way to help them overcome the issue.
Educational psychologists examine the social, cognitive, and emotional factors that can impact the educational process and how people learn. By developing instructional strategies and teaching techniques, educational psychologists can play a key role in the educational sector, helping people around the world optimize their learning experience. If your child is struggling with a learning disability, a psychologist specializing in this field can help them identify and deal with the potential problems interfering with their learning experience. If you work in the educational sector with children living with learning disabilities, an educational psychologist will also help you design specific curriculums and teaching strategies that can maximize your students’ learning outcomes.
As the name implies, clinical psychologists work in clinics and hospitals to guide those suffering from mental or emotional distress after going through a traumatic accident or receiving bad news. Besides providing emergency psychological help, clinical psychologists can also perform psychotherapy to assess a person’s mental state and develop effective treatment plans. Clinical psychology covers a wide scope of mental illnesses and psychological disorders including geriatric mental disorders, abuse treatment, child mental illness, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Although they’re trained in a variety of treatment techniques, clinical psychologists usually specialize in certain disorders with patients of a certain age.
It’s important to note that while clinical psychologists often work in hospitals and clinics, they’re not medically trained doctors and, therefore, are not authorized to prescribe medications. Instead, they use techniques like behavioral intervention and talking therapy to treat patients suffering from emotional and mental distress.
Counseling psychologists are probably the most popular of all the other specialists on this list. Much like a general practitioner, a counseling psychologist is qualified to provide therapy for a wide range of psychological disorders, including behavioral problems, mental distress, emotional difficulties, anxiety, depression, and other related issues. These professionals share many similarities with clinical psychologists, except that they can operate from private offices. While a counseling psychologist can help you work through the many of the psychological problems that may be interfering with your quality of life, if they feel that your situation or condition falls outside their scope, they’re ethically bound to provide a referral to someone with a more extensive background like a psychiatrist, for example.
The field of military psychology is mostly concerned with researching the different aspects of military life, which can include things like treating soldiers suffering from mental illness or emotional distress and helping military and the war veterans transition back to civilian life. Military psychologists may work anywhere where there are soldiers, including hospitals, military bases, and government research facilities.
As you can see, psychology is a very comprehensive field of science with quite an immense scope. While this article provides an overview of the most common types of psychologists who focus on a wide range of human behavior, it’s important to note that many other specialties exist under the umbrella of psychology. So, if none of the aforementioned types seem relevant to you, you might want to look into other specialties in order to find the right kind of help you really need.