What Do Counseling Psychologists Do?

Lately, our world has become all the more confusing and difficult to navigate all by ourselves. More people have been suffering from Mental Health issues, causing them to seek out a psychologist.

These health professionals aid a wide range of people in dealing with their problems and in guiding their behavior. Specifically, they make use of different practices and therapeutic methods to help patients in dealing with developmental and mental issues. They also form in-depth bonds with their patients to further understand their difficulties.

Keep reading and we’ll talk more about the roles and duties of a Counseling Psychologist. We’ll also be talking about other pertinent details you may want to know about the Counseling that these professionals offer.

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What Do Counseling Psychologists Do?

To expand on the answer we gave before, Counseling Psychologists are mental health professionals that specialize in dealing with patients burdened with psychological difficulties. This involves knowing more about how a certain patient thinks, how they behave, their life experiences, and their daily habits. Other important factors that Counseling Psychologists take note of involve their patient’s cultural beliefs, economic status, social life, and physical health.

They typically work in private settings, clinics, organizations, and even public health centers. Wherever there’s a need for their consultation services, hiring a Counseling Psychologist is the common choice for businesses, schools, and organizations alike.

Counseling Psychologists work with a wide range of individuals, from children to adults and even seniors. They might even be hired to counsel whole groups and communities should the need arise. Their main goal with every session is to have their patients reach a state of emotional well-being. The work, although demanding, tends to be some of the most rewarding within the mental health industry.

What’s The Difference Between Counseling and Clinical Psychologists?

Most people lump both Counseling and Clinical Psychologists into one umbrella term. However, it’s important to know the difference between both kinds of psychologists as they have different approaches to their patient’s problems. Counseling Psychologists give their patients a more personal form of treatment, Counseling them through their life problems.

Most Counseling psychologists work within a community or an organization. One good example is how schools and universities may hire a psychologist to help deal with the stress experienced by their students. In these circumstances, patients receive treatments that are personalized and centered on their individual needs.

Clinical Psychologists, rather than focusing on life issues, will take a methodical approach to a patient’s problems. They approach therapy by issuing patients a diagnosis and respective treatment plans for their patients that may be suffering from mental disorders. Clinical psychologists typically work within a hospital or clinic with their patients being those suffering from psychological illnesses.

As psychologists that specialize in clinical therapy, they use their knowledge of psychological theories to assess their patients and craft specialized treatments. They’re also the type of psychologists to dabble in research projects that further develop their body of knowledge.

Here’s a quick rundown of the differences between the 2 types of psychologists:

Clinical Psychologists Counseling Psychologists
  • Clinical and Methodical Treatments
  • Works in Hospital and Clinic Settings
  • Deals with cases of serious mental disorders (Anxiety Disorders, Bipolar Disorders, etc.)
  • Focuses on Theories, Clinical Knowledge, and their patient’s psychological profiles
  • Patient-centered Treatments
  • Works in Communities and Organizations (Schools, College, etc.)
  • Deals with life issues and daily struggles of their patients
  • Usage of methods described in medical literature and research

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However, both these professions require training in Counseling patients and studies in psychotherapy. One aspect that patients should look into is the type of Counseling that their potential psychologist provides and if it’s a fit for their needs. Does the patient require a safe place that will let them explain their grievances? Or do they need a more clinical approach when dealing with their current mental state?

Do Counseling Psychologists Diagnose Patients?

Counseling Psychologists are typically allowed to assess and diagnose the psychological symptoms that a patient may be experiencing. They are also allowed to treat these symptoms to a certain extent. However, they cannot write prescriptions for medication or perform medical procedures for their patients even with their knowledge of psychopharmacology.

In the case where a patient may need more intense forms of therapy, psychologists will often refer their patients to a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist. They’re the ones trained in treating serious mental illnesses and studying the underlying symptoms that may be exacerbating their problem.

What Are The 3 Types of Counseling?

Counselors and Psychologists may take a multi-faceted approach when it comes to their treatment plans. When it comes to Counseling, there are 3 different types of techniques that are usually taught to new psychologists. These are Directive Counseling, Non-Directive Counseling, and Eclectic Counseling.

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Directive Approach

Approaches that make use of Directive Counseling oftentimes focus more on specific problems and how they can be solved. Here, the Counseling psychologist offers up a greater deal of personal involvement as they suggest treatment plans for the patient as if they were in a leader-type role. They also need to collect as much information on the client so as possible while steering the patient towards a developmental path.

Non-Directive Approach

The 2nd approach, Non-Directive Counseling, focuses more on the patient and their experiences. The psychologist still takes an active role, but it focuses more on developing relationships and bonds. Patients have the freedom to give as much information to their psychologists, giving them a stronger sense of self-confidence. The treatment eventually goes down a growth path that is based on understanding and trust.

Eclectic Approach

The final approach, Eclectic Counseling, combines both approaches into one distinct method that allows for a variety of different therapeutic methods. With this type of Counseling, the psychologist applies direct and non-direct methods according to what is needed at the time. They may also choose to perform techniques that come from different schools of thought.

This final approach requires that the psychologist has a thorough understanding of each concept, taking care not to replace other measures with it. They must have a working knowledge of a variety of philosophical theories, making use of each according to what the situation calls for. A good relationship with the patient is important as it allows them to explain each theory and why it may be a good solution for them.

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Choosing A Psychologist For You

With an understanding of the potential methods that a psychologist may use, it’s a good idea for patients to know what they should look for in a psychologist. This is a big decision for you as it can be essential in steering your life back in the right direction. They can also help you learn the life skills and habits needed to maintain a good work-life balance.

One of the most important things to know about psychologists is that they’re there to recognize your problems and help you to improve. They aren’t just there to listen and give advice. It’s important to look at their professional credentials and whether they’re someone that you can put your trust in.

Their personality is a factor that solidifies whether they can form a solid bond in their relationship. They must be able to provide a positive connection and be able to provide patients with a clear and honest line of communication. Being overbearing or judgmental can cause patients to lose trust in their psychologist and stop seeking treatment.

You should also ask about the cost of treatment. Should you have health insurance, it may a good idea to clarify with your insurance provider if this will be covered. Schedules and the mode of treatment are also important as some psychologists offer online therapy sessions for those too busy to attend face-to-face sessions. Lastly, check the reviews of their previous clients to see if they had good experiences with them.

Final Thoughts

The world of psychology is filled with different approaches and schools of thought, all viable in granting patients a sense of balance within their lives. Counseling Psychologists specialize in dealing with patients who are experiencing life problems and stress. They differ from clinical psychologists as they focus on building rapport with the patient and guiding them through specialized treatment plans. Lastly, they provide patients a safe place for them to air their woes and speak what’s on their minds.

From the first meeting, this bond should be developed. You should feel comfortable with them as they talk with you about the different modes of treatment available. While you’re talking about your life situation, you should feel like they aren’t judging you in a verbal or non-verbal manner. Afterward, you should be free to talk with them about your options and whether they’re good for you.

Therapy isn’t the magic bullet that solves all your mental and emotional issues. However, the help of a therapist can guide you towards a healthier mental headspace. As more sessions progress, you should slowly be able to rely more on yourself while realizing your self-worth as a person. Once this is achieved, you can finally say that your therapy was a success!

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Dave P
Dave P
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