What is a psychologist?

Thumbtack Editors
Answered

A psychologist is a professionally trained mental health professional who helps patients navigate challenging life situations or mental health issues. To become a psychologist you must earn a doctoral degree; qualifying degrees include a Ph.D., Psy.D. or Ed.D. To actively practice, a psychologist must be licensed in their state and maintain good standing. Psychologists are trained to administer tests that can evaluate a patient’s cognitive strength and weaknesses, intellectual skills, vocational aptitude and preference, personality characteristics, and neuropsychological functioning, explains the American Psychological Association (APA).

A psychologist meets with patients in an office and may work with a variety of methods, depending on patient need, such as cognitive, behavioral or interpersonal.  According to the APA, common reasons a person may visit a psychologist include:

  • Dealing with depression, anger or anxiety over a long period of time.
  • Help with a chronic condition that is interfering with their lives or physical health.
  • Help with grieving and other abrupt transitions.
  • Overcoming addictions.
  • Managing chronic illness.
  • Breaking old and harmful patterns of thinking or behavior.

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