Research psychologist vs. clinical psychologist

I’m planning to get into Bsc in psychology after my translation degree. However, I’m kind of divided on this one.

If I become a research psychologist, I can study the human brain and hopefully aid in the discovery of a cure or treatments for sz, or any other neurodegenerative diseases;

or, if I become a clinical psychologist, I can counsel people and treat people living with sz.

Not sure which is the better path.

What do you guys think? I’m going to be graduating in 1 1/2 years.

  • research psychologist
  • clinical psychologist

0 voters

EDIT Sorry you already knew all this. I didn’t read before I posted.

Do you want to teach and research or practice clinically with actual patients? My spouse went into academia and got a PHD in social work and hates it. Writing papers, research, teaching. He now is going back to get clinically licensed so he can actually work with people.


Which one would make you happiest do you think?

Would you feel more comfortable in a lab coat, or helping people one-on-one? Myself, I would choose counselling because it seems like it would be so rewarding to help someone

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I think that if you want to cure sz you should study electrical engineering.
Sz is basically invisible signals that are sent to your brain sending you voices, delusions, intrusive
thoughts etc. In electrical engineering you can study what types of signals exist and how to block them.

Signals in your brain and signals in an electrical system work differently, from what I know.

Plus, a master’s degree in engineering requires a previous degree in engineering.

I don’t know, but I like both. I’ve seen psychologists do both things while being clinically licensed. I also like discovering new things and working in a lab, but I really like helping people.

I wish I had access to a job counsellor- back in the day, I had one in Canada.

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Either option would allow you to work with people.

As a researcher you can help devise and conduct clinical studies so you’ll work with specialists in the same area of expertise (and it sure feels good speaking the same language!) but also with study participants who are most likely fellow sz sufferers or with different conditions, but you won’t be able to help them on the spot - most likely your research work becomes relevant in a few decades (if ever). You need brains and patience for research.

On the other hand, working directly with people can be rewarding when feedback is mostly positive. But don’t get too emotionally involved with your patients’ struggles otherwise you will lose inner peace or worse.

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I’ve only voted for research psychologist because the clinic could mess your brain and bring you more stress than research, mostly because you have to deal with ill people and you may end up suffering with their pain.

With that said, I don’t think our opinion is as important as yours regarding your future and no matter what you choose I’ll be rooting for your success!

Best of luck :wink:

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I don’t think psychology would be the best match for those specific research areas you mentioned. I’m sure there are more brain focused neuroscience degrees available in your country.

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Clinical. I have a Bachelor’s
in counseling psychology.
If i could do a master’s,
I would do clinical

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In the uk I think clinical psychology is a post grad course. Here I think folk do a bsc in psychology then at the end of that can decide if the want to train in clinical psychology. You don’t have to decide when you first apply for the bsc


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