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What is a Psychologist?
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What is a Psychologist?

What do Psychologists Do?

Psychologists help to ensure the health and well-being of all people: individuals, families, groups, and society as a whole.

Psychologists are doctorally-trained professionals who conduct research, perform testing, and evaluate and treat a full range of emotional and psychological challenges.

Licensed Psychologists offer a wide variety of services to the public:

  • Individual and group therapy with adults, adolescents, and children, addressing common problems such as depression, anxiety and substance abuse.
  • Work in schools to help students enhance learning.
  • Neuropsychological services to aid in the evaluation and treatment of learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, cognitive (thinking) problems, as well as stroke and head injuries.
  • Work with other professionals to improve communication skills, and increase productivity and job satisfaction.
  • Work with performers, including athletes, actors and musicians to help develop concentration, reduce anxiety and enhance performance.
  • Consult with and provide expert testimony in court proceedings.
  • Many other services where aspects of human behavior and behavioral change are important.


As a legal term, a Psychologist is a person who has received a license from a State Board of professional registration. The license certifies the completion of extensive educational and training requirements, and authorizes the Psychologist to independently diagnose and treat mental disorders and other psychological problems. The license grants the rights and responsibilities of providing mental health treatment.

After a license has been granted, the Psychologist must continue his or her professional education, and must maintain the highest professional and ethical standards of practice and conduct.

Any Psychologist who does not maintain the high standards of the profession is subject to discipline by the State and may have his or her license revoked.


Education and Training of Psychologists

Licensure requires a Doctoral degree (Ph.D., Psy.D., Ed.D.) and at least two years of supervised experience in direct clinical service. Psychologists receive more education and training in psychology and mental health service than any other mental health professional -- often requiring seven years beyond the undergraduate degree.


Clinical Psychology

Licensed Psychologists are specialists in clinical psychology, the direct, practical application of psychological principles to improve the mental health of individuals, couples, families, and groups. The primary activities of clinical Psychologists are psychological testing and evaluation, diagnosis of psychological difficulties, psychotherapy, research to discover ways to improve well-being, teaching, and consultation. Clinical Psychologists are present in a variety of settings, including hospitals, mental health clinics, independent practices, primary and secondary schools, employee assistance programs, and corporations.

When you need help with psychological difficulties,
use RIPA’s Psychologist Referral Service
by clicking on the link below:

Research and Academic Psychology

The practical work of clinical Psychologists draws directly from the findings of ongoing
research and the study of human behavior and experience. Many Psychologists and other professionals within the field of Psychology dedicate themselves to research and teaching, serving as Professors of Psychology at medical schools, universities, colleges, and other institutions of higher learning.

Additional Information about Psychologists

Click here for more information from the American Psychological Association about the activities of Psychologists.