What is a clinical psychologist? In Virginia, the title "clinical psychologist" is reserved for those who have met the rigorous requirements set forth and governed by The Virginia Board of Psychology. Those requirements include completing a doctoral degree (PhD, PsyD, or EdD) in psychology, completing a supervised clinical internship in a hospital or other organized health setting, and passing a national written exam and state required exam before becoming licensed. This extensive training takes at least five years of graduate school plus post-doctoral training in many cases (sometimes called "post doctoral fellowship"). By the time they are licensed, clinical psychologists, are VERY HIGHLY trained professionals with expertise in assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. Clinical psychologists work with children, adults, families, and groups to help change feelings, thoughts, and behaviors via techniques that are based on research. In fact, many clinical psychologists lead research efforts to better understand people's' feelings, thoughts, and behaviors and also develop new ways to help people live better lives. Most research-based clinical psychotherapy treatments for people suffering with mental illness were developed by clinical psychologist researchers. You may find many clinical psychologists have chosen to specialize in helping certain groups (e.g., children, adults) and offer specialized types of assessment (e.g, neuropsychological assessment) or treatment (e.g., cognitive behavioral therapy).
What about other mental health professionals like: psychiatrists, licensed clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, and licensed mental health counselors? The consumer of mental health care has many options and it is important to be informed about the large differences in training depth and breadth. First, psychiatrists are medical doctors who have gone to medical school and done a three-year residency in psychiatry. They can prescribe and manage psychiatric medications. Some also do psychotherapy. There are a variety of licensed therapists (i.e., providers of psychotherapy) who have mostly have master's degrees plus supervised training prior to sitting for a licensure exam. These therapists include: licensed clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, licensed professional counselors, and licensed mental health counselors.
Training and Licensure Clinical psychologists receive a median of 7 years of education and training beyond their undergraduate degree, including practica and internship training in hospitals and other health care settings. Professional licensure is generally uniform throughout the country, authorizing a clinical psychologist to independently diagnose and treat mental and nervous disorders upon completion of a doctoral degree in psychology and a minimum of two years supervised, direct clinical service. (Source: https://www.vapsych.org/why-a-clinical-psychologist-)
Our clinicians are highly trained and qualified in various psychological approaches allowing them to utilize their skill-set and training to address a variety of concerns. Our interventions can take many forms depending on the needs of the individual, couple or family. We consider each family and each client to be unique and, as such, consider cultural, ethnic, and environmental factors. Our treatment plans are formulated on a case-by-case basis, but we utilize various evidence-based approaches, including:
Comprehensive psychological evaluations
Dialectical Behavioral therapy
Family and multisystemic techniques
At Grace Assessment and Therapy Services, our assessment, diagnostic, and treatment approaches integrate current research with time tested methods.
Our support staff provides assistance with scheduling, insurance, and billing.