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What Are the Different Psychological Services?

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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 10 July 2014
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Psychology is a very broad science that incorporates research, clinical practice, and investigative techniques. There are dozens of different psychological services provided by educated, trained professionals. Clinical psychologists help people overcome mental illnesses, substance abuse problems, and various life stresses, while research psychologists pave the way for a new and better understanding of the human brain and behavior. Psychological services provided by professionals in law enforcement are invaluable in forensic investigations and criminal profiling.

Individuals who are struggling with personal problems often seek psychological services to help them regain control over their lives. Clinical psychologists provide understanding and compassion to adults with troubled marriages, children with behavioral problems, and people of all ages with substance abuse issues. They help people understand the nature of their woes and develop a manner of living in which they can flourish. A psychologist might see clients on an outpatient appointment basis, or they may supervise an inpatient center or rehabilitation clinic for people with severe behavioral or substance abuse issues.

Many clinical psychologists, counselors, nurses, and aides provide psychological services to people with varying levels of developmental disabilities. Professionals often work in group homes and institutions, helping individuals develop important life skills while ensuring their safety and well-being. Patients who are able to demonstrate their ability to function independently are often given help finding employment and housing resources.

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Research psychology is performed by trained scientists and psychologists in laboratory settings. Individuals research the anatomy and physiology of the brain, investigate various types of mental disorders and illnesses, and determine the safety and effectiveness of various medications and therapy procedures. Professionals often design and conduct experiments, surveys, and clinical trials to learn more about brain functioning and human interactions. Research findings are applied in a number of different industries and fields, including health care, social work, pharmaceutical development, international relations, and business.

Law enforcement agencies rely on psychological services to catch criminals and provide expert testimony in legal proceedings and trials. A forensic psychologist might interview suspects and witnesses to help uncover the truth about a criminal act. He or she might be appointed by a judge to determine an individual's competency to stand trial and suggest the most appropriate sentencing, such as deciding whether a person should be sent to prison or a mental institution. A professional may also be involved in profiling, determining personality traits and behaviors that are consistent between criminals, predicting the likelihood of future crimes, and pinpointing offenders based on psychological evaluations.

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