Despite the fact that health psychology is a sub-discipline of clinical psychology, there are differences between the two types of psychologists. Clinical psychologists work mainly in counseling centers and mental facilities, while health psychologists work in a wider range of settings, including public health organizations and pain management centers. Clinical psychologists sometimes work on a more autonomous basis, treating clients one-on-one. Health psychologists are often found working as part of research teams in clinical, community, and governmental settings.
In terms of total training, clinical psychologists vary from health psychologists. While both types of psychologists require doctorate degrees, the fundamental curriculum is different. Clinical psychology emphasizes the practitioner model of psychology, preparing students to work as psychologists in a variety of settings. While health psychology programs can prepare psychologists to serve as practitioners, they put a greater emphasis on research. Clinical psychologists study personality psychology, emotional states, aberrant behavior, stress, and positive psychology as part of their doctorate degree. The training of a health psychologist emphasizes biological knowledge and awareness of the interaction between biology and behavior. Physiological psychology, disease processes, and bio-behavioral theories of illness are some of the classes a health psychologist may take.
Clinical psychologists’ treatment methods focus on reducing symptoms of mental health problems, while health psychologists’ treatment approaches emphasize teaching coping mechanisms. Depending on the client, clinical psychologists use a range of treatment methods. Marriage and family therapy are two treatment options that work with couples and families to enhance relationships. Cognitive and behavior therapy are two other treatments used by clinical psychologists to help people change their thought processes and actions for the better. Health psychologists teach clients coping techniques such as relaxation treatments, stress management, and biofeedback.
Clinical psychologists do research that focuses on the field’s theory and practice, as well as the field’s empirical strength. Mental ailments such as depression, schizophrenia, and personality disorders are also studied by clinical psychologists. Health psychology research focuses on diseases including cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and chronic pain. Cultural, psychological, and social variables all have a role in these problems, according to health psychologists. This specialty also focuses on promoting healthy habits to prevent illness.
Health psychologists provide treatment strategies and programs to fight a variety of diseases and unhealthy lifestyles. Health psychologists are involved in a variety of issues, including creating programs to help people quit smoking, reduce weight, remain physically active, and manage stress. Clinical psychologists, on the other hand, deal mainly with and treat mental disorders. This kind of psychologist may develop treatment programs for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), severe depression, and other mental health issues.