Specialized Careers in Psychology Part I

Photo Credit: Better Help  By Dr. Monique M. Chouraeshkenazi 

Photo Credit: Better Help

By Dr. Monique M. Chouraeshkenazi 

        What Psychologists Dois predicated on professional sub-specialties that are important to the field of psychology. Just like the medical field, psychology has multiple specialized practices that involves the understanding of humans, animals, and other species’ psyche and resolve severe psychopathological matters. For this assignment, the following sub-specialties were selected: clinical, counseling, and experimental psychology. Even though such categorized fields have similar or relatable requirements, there are some differences that should be emphasized, especially for individuals who seek specializations beyond general practice psychology. 

Clinical Psychology

        Clinical psychology is the all-inclusive analysis of mental and behavioral healthcare for a population. The field deals with “severe psychopathology” and includes comprehending all elements of psychopathy to provide a diagnosis and solution to such problems. Clinical psychologists are licensed professionals and provide multiple services from interpreting and analyzing personality tests to diagnosing mental illness and directing psychopathy matters. 

        The educational requirements vary, depending upon state-by-state, especially when dealing with qualifications. A universal requirement is that psychological prospects must have a Master’s degree in the field of psychology. However, most psychologists (including specialized fields) require a doctorate degree (“Career in Psychology,” n.d.). There are two types of doctorate degrees for the field: PhD in Doctor of Philosophy and PsyD in Doctor of Psychology. The PhD program is predicated on science and research while the latter is centralized on clinical work. 

         Most clinical psychology programs mandate a doctoral degree and require a minimum of a one-year internship and residencies. Some graduate students anticipate becoming board-certified for the advance learning requirements of becoming a psychologist (Bureau of Labor Statistics, n.d.). A license is required for all potential psychologists who want to conduct clinical work in the field. Clinical psychologists are members of the American Psychological Association, Association for Psychological Science, and the National Alliance of Professional Psychology Providers. 

        This is the sub-specialty is very interesting because it deals with the monitoring the cognitive processes and behavioral patterns of human subjects. Additionally, clinical psychologists deal with the progression of such behavior and even diagnose mental illnesses, which is believed to be the reasoning for committing certain actions. Because there is a need to work with reformed terrorists, it is very important to have the needed licenses and authority to conduct clinical work, if warranted. The goal is to earn a Master’s in Psychology and then complete a PsyD in Forensic Psychology. For my goal in the field, I believe I will need the clinical and research aspect of psychology. 

Counseling Psychology

        A counseling psychologist practices in the general area of health services in psychology. Professionals in this field centralize their specialty on personality traits, relationships, and covers certain areas of emotions, mental health, physical health, social elements, and work (American Psychological Association [APA], n.d.). Their responsibilities are to help those who suffer from the elements previously mentioned and assess, diagnose, and treat those who experience suffering and/or resolve crises. Counseling psychologists deal with individuals of all ages and experts can see them individually, as couples, families, or large groups (APA, n.d.). Finally, counseling psychologists deal with specific advocacy issues and environmental effects that influence human behavior. 

        The areas of expertise for the field are the following: drugs, alcohol, eating disorders, gambling, and compulsive/addictive behavior (Bureau of Labor Statistics, n.d.). Professionals who specialize in counseling should have a bachelor’s in counseling psychology, but a master’s degree is required to become a licensed counselor. Like clinical psychologists, counseling psychologists’ licensure is dependent upon state-by-state basis. However, such professionals in this field must prove “several thousand hours” under the internship of a licensed counselor and complete additional higher education (“Counseling Psychology,” 2018). 

          In addition to belonging to the American Psychological Association, Association for Psychological Science, and the National Alliance of Professional Psychology Providers, counseling psychologists are an integral part of many associations such as the Associate for Adult Development and Aging, Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling, Association for Counselors and Educators in Government, and International Association of Family and Marital Counselors, to name a few. 

         This is an interesting sub-specialty in psychology, but feel clinical psychology would be more beneficial for future goals within the field. Even though working with people is the main factor in psychological goals, this area is not interesting to me because I am more involved connecting forensic psychology with law, terrorism, and homeland/national security standards. 

Experimental Psychology

        Experimental psychology is the scientific aspect of psychology. Professionals in this field “use scientific methods to collect data and perform research” (APA, 2018). Experimental psychologists are unique because much of their work is predicated on producing original information into the field of psychology via research and statistical methods. Their craft can assist corporate businesses, government, military, universities and research laboratories. 

        Even though experimental psychologists’ work is indicative of experimental research, a license is still required. The field requires a bachelor’s degree in psychology, but a master’s degree is preferred, especially for those who want to publish scholarly research and gain a leadership position. Research and laboratory work is a significant portion of experimental psychologists’ responsibilities, and as a result, professionals obtain a doctoral degree. This ensures leadership roles and control over research and experimental studies. Experimental psychologists belong to the following associations: American Psychology Association, The Society of Experimental Psychologists, Society of Experimental Social Psychology, Association of College and Research Libraries, and Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, to name a few. 

          Experimental psychology is a very interesting field and something that would be very beneficial to understanding the human mind, cognitive processes, and reasoning behind specific behaviors. Knowing why terrorists commit terroristic acts and have such hatred for Western civilization, Americanism, progression, and other religions/cultures that support Muslim and Islamic faith will be the key to mitigating heinous crimes throughout the world. This field provides an in-depth approach on human behavior. 


        Because specialized fields are unique to different elements of psychology, it is important to understand the educational requirements, licensure and/or training regulations, and if any residencies and/or internships are mandated. The science behind psychology is an intricate process and requires skill, training, education, and the continuation of advanced learning to ensure psychologists are respectable and credible servants of the field. Also, understanding all requirements needed for the psychological profession is critical not only to ensure the correct diagnosis, treatment, and resolutions to psychological matters, but for those who have a passion to find breakthrough inventions and guarantee new information in science and of the mind. 



American Psychological Association. (2018). Counseling psychology. Retrieved from 

            http://www.apa.org/ed/graduate/specialize/counseling.aspx (accessed on 27 May 2018).

American Psychological Association. (2018). Experimental psychology. Retrieved from 

            http://www.apa.org/action/science/experimental/education-training.aspx (accessed on 

            27 May 2018). 

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. (n.d.). Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017: 19-3031 Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists. Retrieved

            from https://www.bls.gov/OES/current/oes193031.htm (accessed on 27 May 2018). 

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. (n.d.). Occupational Outlook Handbook. 

            Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm#tab-4 (accessed on 26 May 2018). 

“Careers in Psychology.” Clinical Psychologist Careers, Education, Requirements, Salary, 

            Information.Retrieved from https://careersinpsychology.org/becoming-a-clinical-psychologist/ (accessed on 26 May 2018). 

“Counseling Psychology.” What is Counseling Psychology?Retrieved from 

            http://www.psychology.org/careers/counseling-psychologist/#what-is (accessed on 27 May 2018).