Assistant clinical psychologist

Assistant clinical psychologist article illustration


Assistant clinical psychologists aid psychologists in their work. They work in healthcare facilities or private practices where they assist psychologists with their treatment of patients. Assistant clinical psychologists are healthcare professionals that can assess patients with psychological tests, aid with therapy, and perform administrative functions.

Excludes psychologist.

The duties of an assistant clinical psychologist typically include, but are not limited to:

  • carrying out neuropsychological assessments
  • contributing to multidisciplinary discussions about a client’s diagnosis, treatment, risk assessment, and care plan issues
  • undertaking specified behavioural observations and assessments
  • seeking and acquiring specific information by reading notes, investigating histories etc
  • carrying out specified treatment and intervention programmes with clients or groups of clients
  • working with client’s carers, relatives, and others involved in their care, including mental health workers
  • researching and gathering information

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to assistant clinical psychologist:

psychological assistant
personality assessment coordinator
assistant psychologist
psychology assistant

Minimum qualifications

A bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field is generally required to work as an assistant clinical psychologist. This degree serves as a good foundation for aspiring psychology graduates to learn about psychology and decide on their areas of specialisation. The course helps students understand psychology principles, the methodologies used to tackle different mental health illnesses, and research methodologies used by medical professionals to understand the human mind.

Those looking to establish a career in psychology can seek a master’s degree in psychology disciplines. A master’s degree course discusses similar topics as a bachelor’s degree programme, but it also includes advanced theories and practicals. In this programme, students can develop a more in-depth knowledge of how the psychological mind works. They can also learn about advanced research and treatment methods.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Assistant clinical psychologist is a Skill level 3 occupation.

Assistant clinical psychologist career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to assistant clinical psychologist.

respiratory therapy technician
anatomical pathology technician
clinical perfusion scientist
physiotherapy assistant
dental hygienist

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of assistant clinical psychologist. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of assistant clinical psychologist with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

health psychologist
clinical psychologist
art therapist

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of assistant clinical psychologist.

  • Psychological diagnostics: The psychological diagnostics strategies, methods and techniques concerning health-related experiences and behaviours as well as mental disorders
  • Diagnosis of mental health issues: The diagnosis of mental health issues such as disorders or illnesses, and psychological factors in other diseases within different issues and different age groups.
  • Therapy in health care: The principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions.
  • Evaluation of psychological performance: The characteristics of the methods used to assess psychological parameters.
  • Psychological interventions: The characteristics of the methods and procedures meant to instigate change in human behaviour.
  • Psychology: The human behaviour and performance with individual differences in ability, personality, interests, learning, and motivation.
  • Psychological concepts: The psychological concepts of health protection and health promotion.
  • Psychiatry: Psychiatry is a medical specialty mentioned in the EU Directive 2005/36/EC.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of assistant clinical psychologist.

  • Apply psychological intervention strategies: Use various intervention strategies to treat patients in clinical psychology.
  • Conduct psychological research: Plan, supervise and undertake psychological research, writing papers to describe the research results.
  • Assist psychologist: Assist psychologists in their work. Provide assistance in their treatment of patients such as conducting tests, analysing the correct treatment and providing therapy. Assist in maintaining administrative records of patients.
  • Work with patterns of psychological behaviour: Work with the patterns of a patient or client’s psychological behaviour, which may be outside of their conscious awareness, such as non-verbal and pre-verbal patterns, clinical processes of defence mechanisms, resistances, transference and counter-transference.
  • Conduct psychological assessement: Assess patient`s behaviour and needs via observation and tailored interviews, administering and interpreting psychometric and idiosyncratic assessments.
  • Identify mental health issues: Recognise and critically evaluate any possible mental health/illness issues.
  • Comply with quality standards related to healthcare practice: Apply quality standards related to risk management, safety procedures, patients feedback, screening and medical devices in daily practice, as they are recognized by the national professional associations and authorities.
  • Comply with legislation related to health care: Comply with the regional and national legislation that is relevant to one`s work and apply it in practice.
  • Apply health sciences: Apply a broad range of bio-medical, psycho-social, organisational, educational, and societal aspects of health, disease, and healthcare to improve healthcare services and to improve quality of life.
  • Adhere to organisational guidelines: Adhere to organisational or department specific standards and guidelines. Understand the motives of the organisation and the common agreements and act accordingly.
  • Assess the patient’s therapeutic needs: Observe and assess the patient`s behaviour, attitudes and emotions in order to understand if and how their therapeutic needs can be met with a specific kind of therapy, collecting and analysing information on how the client makes, responds to, and relates to artistic stimulae. Relate this information to other aspects of the patient`s life.
  • Apply context specific clinical competences: Apply professional and evidence based assessment, goal setting, delivery of intervention and evaluation of clients, taking into account the developmental and contextual history of the clients, within one`s own scope of practice.
  • Assess healthcare users’ risk for harm: Evaluate the healthcare user’s potential for harm to him- or herself or others, intervening effectively to minimise risk and implement prevention methods.
  • Decide upon a psychotherapeutic approach: Make an informed choice about which type of psychotherapeutic intervention to apply when working with patients, according to their needs.
  • Accept own accountability: Accept accountability for one`s own professional activities and recognise the limits of one`s own scope of practice and competencies.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of assistant clinical psychologist. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Clinical reports: The methods, assessment practices, credentials and opinions gathering procedures necessary for writing clinical reports.
  • Cognitive psychology: The human mental processes such as attention, memory, language use, perception, problem solving, creativity and thinking.
  • Consultation: The theories, methods and concepts related to consultation and communication with clients.
  • Health psychology: The development, implementations and evaluation of health psychological concepts.
  • Developmental psychology: The study of human behaviour, performance, and psychological development from infancy to adolescence.
  • Clinical psychological treatment: Treatment methods and intervention strategies used in clinical psychology, such as the treatment of persons with mental illnesses and disorders in different settings, with different clinical symptoms and problems and with different age groups.
  • Human psychological development: The human psychological development across the lifespan, theories of personality development, cultural and environmental influences, human behavior, including developmental crises, disability, exceptional behavior, and addictive behavior.
  • Paediatric psychology: Study of how psychological aspects can influence and impact illnesses and injuries in infants, children and adolescents.
  • First aid: The emergency treatment given to a sick or injured person in the case of circulatory and/or respiratory failure, unconsciousness, wounds, bleeding, shock or poisoning.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of assistant clinical psychologist. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Apply clinical psychological treatment: Apply clinical psychological treatment for people of all ages and groups based on clinical psychological assessment.
  • Provide health psychological advice: Provide health psychological expert opinions, reports and advice in regard to health related risk behaviour and its causes.
  • Provide first aid: Administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation or first aid in order to provide help to a sick or injured person until they receive more complete medical treatment.
  • Evaluate psychological health measures: Evaluate the provided psychological health measures in order to assess their impact and their outcomes.
  • Carry out neuropsychological testing: Run neuropsychological tests on patients in order to acquire data about a subject`s cognitive, motor, behavioural, linguistic, and executive functioning and interpret the obtained data in order to guide effective treatment methods for the rehabilitation of impaired patients.
  • Empathise with the healthcare user: Understand the background of clients` and patients’ symptoms, difficulties and behaviour. Be empathetic about their issues; showing respect and reinforcing their autonomy, self-esteem and independence. Demonstrate a concern for their welfare and handle according to the personal boundaries, sensitivities, cultural differences and preferences of the client and patient in mind.
  • Provide clinical psychological assessment: Provide clinical psychological assessment in relation to health and health-related and health-conditioned behaviour and experience, as well as clinical disease patterns and their impact on the human experience and behaviour.
  • Formulate a case conceptualisation model for therapy: Compose an individualised treatment plan in collaboration with the individual, striving to match his or her needs, situation, and treatment goals to maximise the probability of therapeutic gain; considering any possible personal, social, and systemic barriers that might undermine treatment.
  • Provide clinical psychological support in crisis situations: Offer psychological support and emotional guidance to patients facing serious crises.
  • Analyse psychological aspects of illness: Analyse the psychological impact of illness on individuals, close ones, and caregivers and use psychological interventions to promote self-management, helping patients cope with pain or illness, improve their quality of life and mitigate the effects of disability and handicap.
  • Evaluate clinical psychological measures: Evaluate the provided clinical psychological measures in order to assess their impact and their outcomes taking into account the patients` feedback.
  • Interpret psychological tests: Interpret psychological tests in order to obtain information on your patient`s intelligence, achievements, interests, and personality.
  • Counsel clients: Assist and guide clients to overcome their personal, social, or psychological issues.
  • Provide clinical psychological counselling: Provide clinical psychological counselling in relation to health impairments, their conditions and the possibilities for change.
  • Provide health psychological diagnosis: Analyse persons and groups of persons of all ages using health psychological methods in relation to the various aspects of health behaviour and its causes.
  • Provide health psychological treatment advice: Provide treatment advice to persons and groups of persons of all ages in relation to the various aspects of mental health related risk behaviours such as diet, exercise, substance abuse, stress management.
  • Provide health psychological concepts: Develop, implement and evaluate health psychological concepts.
  • Provide clinical psychological expert opinions: Provide clinical psychological expert opinions and reports regarding the performance, personality traits, behaviours and mental disorders.
  • Provide health psychological analysis: Advise organizations and institutions in regard to health conditions, measures of health promotion, health care and rehabilitation by providing them with health psychological analysis.

ISCO group and title

3259 – Health associate professionals not elsewhere classified

  1. Assistant clinical psychologist – ESCO
  2. Assistant Psychologist | Health Careers
  3. What Does an Assistant Psychologist Do and How to Become One? | Singapore
  4. Featured image: Photo by cottonbro studio from Pexels
Last updated on March 21, 2023

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