Clinical psyhologist

Who is a clinical psychologist?

A clinical psychologist is a mental health specialist with an academic master’s degree in psychology and a professional certificate, who has in-depth knowledge and skills in the assessment and treatment of psychiatric disorders. A clinical psychologist may specialize in psychotherapy, child psychology, forensic and correctional psychology, or neuropsychology in order to acquire specialized skills and knowledge.

Specialization in clinical psychotherapy requires knowledge and skills in controlled efficacy therapies based on scientific theories.

Specialization in clinical child psychology requires knowledge of the child’s mental characteristics and mental disorders and the ability to work with the people around the child.

When to see a clinical psychologist?

People turn to a psychologist for very different reasons. These can be day-to-day problems, problems in close relationships, or concerns about your own or your loved ones’ mental health. Mental health problems are so widespread that almost half of people can get a psychiatric diagnosis at some point in their lives.

The most common complaints are:
  • persistently low mood;
  • unexpected anxiety attacks;
  • constant feeling of tension and fear;
  • inability to relax;
  • sleep disorders;
  • changes in appetite;
  • difficulties in controlling emotions;
  • intrusive negative thoughts;
  • dissatisfaction with oneself and one’s appearance, etc.

From time to time, these complaints can occur in all of us due to life changes and stress, and then you should give yourself some time and try to help yourself by consciously doing pleasurable activities, increasing physical activity and using other self-help techniques. However, if this does not help, there is no point in waiting to turn to a mental health professional. During the initial appointment, the clinical psychologist can assess the nature and severity of your complaints and provide information about your need for further treatment.

How does a clinical psychologist appointment look like?

The initial appointment lasts about 90 minutes and usually takes place to get to know each other, map out problems and backgrounds, identify psychotherapy needs, and set goals. If the need for repeated appointments arises, they are usually 50 minutes long and include systematic work to alleviate problems and improve mental health.

What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a process that aims to purposefully change thinking, cognition and behavior to help a person cope more appropriately in their daily lives.

Psychotherapy is a method of treatment, and in order to apply it, a specialist also needs to have a basic knowledge of physiology, the functioning of mental processes and the peculiarities of mental disorders. This does not mean that clinical psychologists do not have this knowledge before training in psychotherapy, but years of therapy training and practice make a psychologist significantly more competent in a particular treatment and provide practical intervention skills.

The schools of psychotherapy are very different, so it is always worthwhile to find out what kind of therapy training a given specialist is.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is based on the idea that how and what we think and where we focus our attention directly influences our emotions and behavior. During the course of life the patterns of ourselves, the world, and others affect our daily decisions and emotional states more than we are often aware of. A cognitive-behavioral approach helps a person to become more aware of their thought processes and to find more appropriate ways to deal with their emotions.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment for anxiety disorders, stress and trauma related disorders, mood disorders, eating disorders, sleep disorders, addictive disorders, personality disorders, chronic pain, activity attention disorders, and behavioral disorders.