Have you ever dreamt of a career where you can help others to overcome their mental challenges and at the same time have the ability to work for yourself? If yes, psychology is the go-to career option for you. It is one of those few professions, which has a scope of feeling gratified and fulfilled at the same time.

The demand for psychologists is growing with each passing day. They provide not only clinical counselling services but also treat mental, emotional behavioral disorders. Psychologists promote resilience and help people discover their inner strengths. Among the many divisions, counselling and Clinical psychology are two important areas of psychology. Clinical psychologists play a crucial role in bettering the mental and emotional health of children as well as adults, overcoming learning disabilities in kids, managing emotional disturbances of teenagers as well as old parents, treating and managing geriatric, schizophrenic patients and patients under depression.

Everyone, irrespective of their age and gender is prone to mental and emotional disorders and suffer from a common problem called ‘depression’. Currently, 4.5 per cent of Indians suffers from depression and 7.5 per cent from a deadly combination of depression and anxiety, which eventually can result in a fatal ending like suicide.

Today’s generation is under tremendous pressure to be on top of everything, be it in terms of performing well in academics and career or delivering and achieving numbers at the workplace. In the process, they often end up at the doors of a psychologist. Another promising career for a psychologist is in an educational institute or at a corporate house. Career counsellors have bright future since students often face -problem in selecting the right course/career for them.

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The scope of work for clinical psychologists, on the other hand, are either at hospitals or in private practice clinics/centres. They have trained theoretically as well as techniques to treat clients who might require regular consultations, diagnosis, assessments and more. Clinical psychologists are expected to keep detailed records of clients with specific therapeutic goals and treatment progress. Their course of work is more related to therapies. The profession is truly fulfilling and challenging at the same time. The ones with an entrepreneurial mindset should opt for clinical psychology as a career. This gives the interested candidate a chance to establish their practice centre and become an independent professional. However, all psychologists and counsellors should be registered with the Rehabilitation Counsel of India to practice legally as a counsellor. M.Phil. (with RCI) is mandatory to practice as a clinical psychologist. One can look at obtaining a bachelor’s degree in psychology from a UGC-recognized institution. During the graduation course, one can get exposure to the basic elements of the subject. The top colleges, which provide graduation in this subject, are:

  1. Fergusson College, Pune

  2. Delhi University

  3. Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi

  4. Christ University, Bangalore

  5. Adamas University, Kolkata

  6. NSHM Knowledge Campus, Kolkata

  7. Loreto College, Kolkata

  8. Ambedkar University, New Delhi

  9. Amity University

  10. University of Mumbai

After completing graduation, students can also pursue post-graduation through entrance exams. Due to high level of competition, a graduation degree would not suffice for the desired job. In-depth dissertation and submission of internship report after completing the post-graduation course would add immense value. Different colleges offer different post-graduation degree courses such as M.A. in Applied Psychology with specialization in Clinical, Social or Organizational Behaviour, M.A. in Psychology, M.Sc. in Clinical Psychology etc. A career in clinical psychology is highly in demand and the end if a person completes an M.Phil. in Clinical Psychology, the average starting salary can be around 30-35k per month.

The growing demand for this career is mainly because of the increase in the number of the population seeking psychologists for help. The career is highly appreciated across sectors since it has a high-value addition in all our lives. Psychologists often get a chance to meet and interact with new people as they have flexible working hours. While being self-employed, it also gives complete control over time and earning potential. With the advancements of technological innovation and digitisation of our society, the rise of clinical psychology as a career is likely to create a positive impact in our lives. It is the power, which would enable us to fight against all the odds and transform our inner strength into action.

Today’s generation is under tremendous pressure to be on top of everything, be it in terms of performing well in academics and career or delivering and achieving numbers at workplace. In the process, they often end up at the doors of a psychologist. Clinical Psychology is one of the niche courses with a huge social responsibility and tremendous career growth.

By: Dr. Shivani Santosh
Clinical Psychologist & Associate Professor,
NSHM School of Health Sciences, Kolkata