Research Paper: Child Clinical Psychology

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Child Psychology

Child Clinical Psychology

Clinical child psychology as a practice field directly addresses the mental health needs of children and their families by providing professional services that seek to improve the effects of life events when these experiences dispute the anticipated course of development. The main role of clinical child psychologists is to provide therapeutic services for the wide range of cognitive, emotional, developmental, behavioral, social, medical, and family problems presented by youth from infancy through adolescence. Clinical child psychologists also carry out integrated clinical research into the socio-emotional modification, behavioral alteration, and health position of children and adolescents (Jackson, Alberts, & Roberts, 2010).

Despite some views that clinical child psychology is a new area of expertise, it is in fact, one of the oldest applications of psychology to date. The specialty field has grown to a vibrant and evidence-based practice arena with multifaceted applications in public and private sector services. Provision of psychological services for children relies on developmental theories and information, distinguishing and highlighting that all areas of clinical work with children and adolescents are influenced by developmental factors. Downward extensions of adult-oriented assumptions and clinical techniques are not adequate when attempting to suitably respond to the specialized needs of children and adolescents. The well developed professional literature on development, psychopathology, assessment practices, and intervention techniques also dictate that training and application of training be focused on the distinctive and qualitatively different needs of youth to ensure the greatest chance of meeting their mental health needs (Pidano & Whitcomb, 2012).

Requirements to Practice

One needs a doctoral degree in child psychology and a state license in order to practice as a child psychologist. General requirements for licensure include passing the National Psychology Licensing Exam and at least two years of supervised counseling or clinical experience. Doctoral programs examine children as individuals and as products of the social forces exerted by their families, peer groups, communities and culture. Normal mental and emotional development, the emergence of abnormal or pathological behavior and methods of treatment are explored from numerous theoretical and clinical perspectives through a combination of academic courses, seminars and field practicums. Field practicums will also help one to develop their own approach to therapy. Courses and seminars are completed in the first 2-3 years of the degree program with the remainder of the program devoted to researching and writing a dissertation on an original topic in the field (Child Psychologist: Job Duties, Employment Outlook, and Educational Requirements, 2012).

While there are some opportunities in the field of child psychology for those with a master's degree, most people will find that job options are more plentiful at the doctoral-level. There are some programs that offer a degree in child psychology, but many people choose to earn a Ph.D. Or Psy.D. degree in either clinical or counseling psychology. "The American Psychological Association reports that nearly 75% of all doctorate psychology degrees are Ph.D.'s, but the Psy.D. is becoming a more and more well-liked option for those interested more in professional practice rather than research. After earning a degree, child psychologists must complete a supervised clinical internship that usually lasts two years and then pass state and national tests in order to become licensed in the state they wish to work. For this reason, it is important to check with the state to determine the licensing requirements" (Cherry, 2012).

The preparation of clinical child psychologists is characterized by:

familiarity of normal developmental processes as a precondition for distinguishing between normal and abnormal behavior and development, and for understanding developmental factors as they relate to evaluation and intervention.

connecting normal family processes to the child and adolescent's development comprising the impact of family dynamics, standard family functioning and childrearing practices on regular child and adolescent development and on the development of troubles.

concentration on child and adolescent psychopathology, including epidemiology and etiological models of child and adolescent psychopathology; treatment choices and treatment effectiveness for precise problems and children of different ages; knowledge of family and other troubles requiring treatment.

the incorporation of developmental psychology and clinical child and adolescent psychology reflected in developmental psychopathology.

familiarity of the methods of evaluation covering development, cognition, character, sentiment and accomplishment.

theories and research evidence foundations for the treatment of infant, child, adolescent and family troubles.

avoidance of child, adolescent and family disorders drawing upon information of normal and abnormal developmental pathways as well as developmentally-informed knowledge of clinical trouble.

extraordinary ethical and legal issues in research and practice with children, adolescents and their families.

a suitable appreciation for and understanding of (Public Description of Clinical Child Psychology, 2012).

Clinical Psychologists need to have exceptional communication skills, reporting skills and outstanding interpersonal skills. They should also display self-awareness, objectivity, a strong longing to help others and thorough knowledge of psychology and treatment alternatives available to patients. Clinical psychology also entails collaboration with other medical professionals as needed for complete patient care (Clinical Child Psychologist: Career Information and Requirements, 2012).

Tasks of a Child Clinical Psychologist

Child Clinical work can be categorized into the areas of assessment, consultation, intervention and prevention. Assessments are conducted by way of techniques such as interviews with parents and children, cognitive testing and behavioral observation. Consultation comprises conferring with pediatricians, teachers, social workers, child protection workers and colleagues about treatment or care options. Intervention includes a variety of treatment approaches including family therapy and counseling, individual therapy, cognitive therapy and behavior modification in the home or classroom. Prevention aims to guide children away from delinquency, substance abuse and teen pregnancy, protect them from extended exposure to abusive or neglectful surroundings and stay away from delays in language and cognitive development (Child Psychologist: Job Duties, Employment Outlook, and Educational Requirements, 2012). In most states, clinical child psychologists cannot write prescriptions, but may refer the patient to a psychiatrist if medication is required. These psychologists may add to research literature in their field, which can move forward the treatment possibilities for children with psychological or behavioral issues (Clinical Child Psychologist: Career Information and Requirements, 2012).

Advantages of being a Child Clinical Psychologist

One of the major draws of becoming a psychologist is the occasion to help others. If one likes working with people, a career in psychology is a good choice. While the job can be demanding at times, a lot of psychologists portray their jobs as very gratifying and fulfilling (Pros and Cons of Being a Clinical Psychologist, 2012).

If one operates their own therapy practice, they can essentially set their own hours. One big advantage of becoming a psychologist is that one can have a satisfying career and still have ample of time to spend with their friends and family. Psychologists who work in hospitals or mental health offices may not have work schedules that are as flexible as their self-employed equals, but there are still an abundance of opportunities to set hours that work with ones life and family demands (Becoming a Clinical Psychologist, 2011).

While money by itself is never a good basis to choose a certain career, psychologists are usually well paid for their time and effort. On average, psychologists earn anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 every year. Some people choose to work part-time, still earning a decent income while leaving time to care for children and fulfill other personal responsibilities (Moore, 2012).

If a person enjoys working for themselves and has an entrepreneurial character, becoming a psychologist can be an outstanding career choice. According the U.S. Department of Labor, over thirty percent of all psychologists work for themselves. Establishing ones own private therapy practice gives a person the occasion to have full control over their career (Pros and Cons of Being a Clinical Psychologist, 2012).

If a person likes working with people and helping them attain their full potential, then becoming a psychologist can be very rewarding. While they will frequently face challenges, seeing their clients attain real progress and work towards their goals can give one a feeling of achievement. Whether they are working totally with children, adults, married couples or families, one will have the occasion to meet and help people from all over (Pros and Cons of Being a Clinical Psychologist, 2012).

Disadvantages of being a Child Clinical Psychologist

Whether a person runs their own therapy practice or works in a conventional mental health office, they will have to deal with paperwork, insurance and billing issues. If one decides to run their own business, they will need to learn how to bill insurance plans or hire someone to perform this task in order to be successful (Czaja, 2011).

Building ones own business from the ground up can be an intimidating task. In addition to fundamental tasks such as finding office space, buying equipment and supplies and establishing a client base, a person needs to think about other issues such as malpractice insurance, health insurance, billing practices, document management and tax obligations (Psychology Career, 2012).

While one of the great rewards of being a psychologist is the occasion to truly help people, the every day… [END OF PREVIEW]

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