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Difference Between Clinical Psychology and Counseling Psychology

Clinical Psychology vs. Counseling Psychology
For non-licensed professionals working in the psychology field, clinical and counseling psychology might not seem to have any difference in how the patients are treated. A psychologist is a psychologist and they are clinical and counsel, right? Wrong, there are many differences in clinical psychology and counseling psychology that most people are entirely unaware of. While they are both sciences of the mind and meant to help a person better themselves, they deal with entirely different types of patients for entirely different reasons. Their patients suffer from different issues and some even from mental disorders, thus the need for specialization in one or the other kind of psychology.

Clinical psychology is defined in the word clinical, which is the treatment of sick patients. There for a patient who sees a clinical psychologist is sick and needs psychological evaluation and help. These professionals work with people who are suffering from mental disorders and diseases like sociopathy, multiple personalities, and schizophrenia. The idea is to address the condition with theory and scientific evidence as to what has helped patients with these similar conditions. Clinical psychology focuses in the unconscious of a person and uses psycho-analysis as a treatment option for patients. Using an assessment and evaluation, a psychologist is able to determine the severity of the mental illness and what they believe can help the person live as normal a life as possible. Sometimes that is through institutional living and other times it is through prescribed medication under the doctor’s supervision. Clinical psychologists treat their patients through a referral from a medical doctor or criminal justice system.

Counseling psychology is defined in the word counseling, which is the treatment of everyday problems through communication and understanding. Unlike the clinical psychology patients, counseling involves mentally healthy individuals who are merely seeking to clear issues in their lives and communicate with a professional. This science is concerned with role functioning and the present time frame of what is occurring now in the patients’ life. Counseling focuses on a person’s thinking and how they can better a situation in their lives through communication with a professional. Counseling psychology does not require the use of a physician’s diagnosis. A person who has an issue can seek out a psychologist directly for their professional help. Sessions with a counseling psychologist are usually paid for by the hour and the fees vary based on the treating doctor.
Summary

1. Psychology is the study of the mind and behaviors. Clinical psychology is the study of the mind when there are mental disorders in a patient. Counseling psychology is the study of the mind when there are no mental problems.
2. Clinical psychologists are assigned to patients by a physician or with a court recommendation. Counseling psychologists are chosen by the patient, there are no referrals necessary.
3. Clinical psychology is for the patient who has problems with their unconscious. Counseling psychology is the treatment of the conscious and can be for any individual.


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