A psychologist of any degree holds a doctorate in psychology. With this degree, the psychologist has completed a pre-doctoral internship and at least one year of post-doctoral, supervised clinic work. In order to become licensed, an individual must pass a national written examination, as well as a state written and oral examination. One of the main criteria in order to legally advertise and practice as a psychologist consists of a license by the state in which they practice. A clinical psychologist additionally has training and expertise in various areas, including but not limited to:
- The assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of intellectual, cognitive, and/or neuropsychological disorders
- The assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of personality and emotional disorders
- Expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of psychological problems, ranging from emotional distress, to severe mental health disorders
- Trained to conduct and interpret research and provide evidence-based treatments, which have been researched and shown to be effective
Individual psychologists may choose to focus their practice on all of the above or may choose to focus on one particular area.