Clinical psychology is similar to counselling psychology, with the main difference being that clinical psychologists typically deal with patients who have more serious psychological problems than those treated by counselling psychologists. It is also within the scope of practice of a Clinical Psychologist to diagnose patients with these disorders.
For example; counselling psychologists may handle cases such as individual or couples counselling, while clinical psychologists tend deal with patients who have serious psychological disorders and are likely to be institutionalized. Clinical psychologists are able to work in private practice but most will work in clinics, hospitals or mental health institutions.
How to become a Clinical Psychologist?
In order to become a Clinical Psychologist, students need to complete an M degree (MA/MSc/MSocSci) at an HPCSA accredited institution. This is a full-time coursework programme that spans between 1 and 2 years depending on the institution.
Following the coursework part of training, students will then need to complete a supervised internship which takes 1 year. Once a student has completed their internship, individuals need to complete 1 year of Community Service.
Before an individual can begin their community service, one needs to write and pass their HPCSA board exams. New HPCSA guidelines stipulate that board exams have to be completed before the individual can begin their community service. Clinical Psychology is currently the only psychological category that is required to complete a year of community service.
To find out more about the route to becoming a Clinical Psychologist, please click here.