A nonmedical specialist in diagnosing and treating mental health concerns. In most states, a psychologist has a Ph.D. degree from a graduate program in psychology. Psychologists are licensed, receive insurance reimbursement, have hospital privileges and act as expert witnesses in court cases.
Prior to World War II, psychologists were primarily involved in academic institutions, with only a few individuals employed outside universities and actively engaged in mental health services. Not until 1977—with the passage of the Missouri psychology licensure act—did all 50 states and the District of Columbia grant statutory recognition to the profession. Since that time, the number of licensed psychologists has grown, rising from an estimated 20,000 in 1975 to almost 150,000 in 2006. Along with this dramatic growth in the population of practitioners was a significant expansion in psychologists’ role as direct mental health providers. Today, psychologists are involved in 358 psychogenic fugue almost every type of mental health setting, including institutional or community-based, research- or treatment- oriented and general health- or mental health-focused. Within these environments, psychologists’ roles have also expanded beyond traditional activities of diagnostic assessment and psychotherapy to include primary prevention, community-level intervention strategies, assessment of service delivery systems and client advocacy.
Within psychology, there are many subspecialties. These include child, developmental, school, clinical, social and industrial. Many psychologists have private practices, are employed by a health care facility and teach in universities. Psychologists cannot prescribe medications. They usually refer patients requiring medication to a physician.Tags: medications, mental health, psychologists, psychotherapy