A day as a clinical psychologist

You work at your local mental health trust, offering counselling, therapy and advice to a wide-range of people with mental health problems. You begin the day meeting with colleagues including other psychologists, nurses and psychiatrists to discuss the progress of your patients. After the meeting you see your first patient of the day who is a teenage girl who has been referred to you by her GP as they are suffering from an eating disorder. You carry out psychometric tests and try to establish why she is feeling and acting negatively. You also speak to the girl's family and recommend regular counselling sessions. You assess several more patients throughout the day, including a challenging session with an alcoholic mother. You finish at 5.00pm, having enjoying engaging with such a wide variety of people and gaining insights into human behaviour and personality.

Real-life stories

Anna Disney

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Does this sound like you?

You're genuinely interested in the feelings of others, and are fascinated by human behaviour. You can empathise with people, and understand their feelings easily.

What's next after GCSE?

After gaining a minimum of five 9-4 (A*-C) grades at GCSE (or the equivalent), you'll need to apply for at least two A levels - psychology can be useful but is not essential.

What's next after A level and beyond?

You'll need at least two A levels (or the equivalent) - psychology can be useful but is not essential - and be ready to apply for a BPS-accredited degree course in psychology. After your degree, you'll need to go onto further postgraduate study in clinical psychology.