What is a Clinical Psychologist?


Child & Adolescent Clinical Psychologists have experience of working with people across the lifespan and across all levels of ability. Clinical Psychologists can work with children & young people on a one-to-one basis (or in a group) as well as with their families. They also work with other people in the families’ lives (e.g. Schools, Social Care, Health Care staff etc). They might meet with children and young people in clinics, at home, at school or in other places.

Clinical Psychologists assess difficulties that a child or family would like to change using a wide range of approaches. This might involve talking, playing and completing some questionnaires or other measures. From this assessment, Clinical Psychologists aim to create a shared understanding of the difficulties that are faced by the family, using a variety of theories that research says will be most useful. Clinical Psychologists use this shared understanding to work out what is likely to be the most helpful form of therapy or intervention for that child or family.

From British Psychological Society and Young Minds:

Clinical Psychologists help a wide range of people of all ages with all sorts of difficulties.  Some may have particular emotional or mental health problems, such as low mood or anxiety. Others may have difficulties with their thinking; these are known as cognitive problems. A clinical psychologist uses their skills and knowledge to help people to understand and reduce their difficulties so they can cope better with life and their feelings and thoughts.

Clinical Psychologists are trained by the NHS, just like doctors and nurses, and most work there too. They do this in many different areas including hospitals, community mental health teams, clinics, health centres, charities, schools and prisons.