What is a Clinical Psychologist?

Training & Experience

Clinical Psychologists are highly skilled in assessing and treating people who are experiencing emotional and psychological difficulties. Their training begins with an Honours Degree in Psychology and they are then typically required to gain between two and four years of varied clinical experience before being accepted onto a three year Doctoral Training Programme in Clinical Psychology. Their specialist training includes numerous clinical placements across the lifespan and in a broad range of psychological specialities. They then go on to develop expertise whilst specialising in a specific particular clinical area and throughout their careers engage in ongoing training and professional development. Their lengthy and highly intensive training allows them to draw on and integrate a wealth of knowledge and experience when making assessments and working therapeutically with clients. In addition, Clinical Psychologists gain training and experience in delivering a wide range of psychological therapies and are therefore able to tailor their approach where appropriate, combining the most beneficial aspects of different therapies for each individual or family they work with.


‘Clinical Psychologist’ is a protected title, meaning that only those with the above qualifications and who are registered with the Health & Care Professionals Council (HCPC) are entitled to use it. The profession is highly regulated and all Clinical Psychologists have regular clinical supervision, adhere to rigorous standards and abide by Professional Guidelines and a Code of Ethics & Conduct, ensuring quality and safety for clients. Holding ‘Chartered Psychologist’ status is the benchmark of professional recognition and reflects the highest standards of psychological knowledge and expertise.


Unfortunately, the titles ‘Psychologist’ and ‘Child Psychologist’ are not protected or regulated, meaning that anyone can call themselves by these titles and practice without the required qualifications or skills. This is highly misleading and indeed, can be harmful. Please ensure you check the qualifications and professional registration of anyone working with you, your child or family. A true professional will welcome your questions regarding this. You can use the following links to ensure your Practitioner is legitimate:


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