Psychologists (in the U.S.) are doctoral trained scientists of human behavior.   They can be Ph.D.’s, Ed.D.’s, or Psy.D.’s.  In some states, Master degree (M.A. or M.S.) holders can be considered psychologists.  In New York, only doctoral level licensed psychologists or university employed psychologists can use the term psychologist.

Licensed Clinical Psychologists

Licensed clinical psychologists are doctoral level psychologists who have completed appropriate clinical training requirements (e.g., internships, externships, etc.), have passed a state sanctioned licensing examination, and completed supervised post-doctoral clinical hours.  New York Psychologists are required to complete a doctoral degree, an internship, and pass a licensing examination.

Originally these were Ph.D.’s (doctors of philosophy) who worked exclusively as researchers and instructors, typically in academic settings.  In time counseling psychologists became more common.  These psychologists were awarded either a Ph.D. or an Ed.D., both of which are doctoral degrees, the degree is largely determined by whether the university houses the department in a department of education or psychology.  They were not involved in treating mental illness. Recently the Psy.D. degree was created, which is another doctoral level psychologist.  The requirements typically very closely approximate the Ph.D., but usually there may be less emphasis on capacities to produce research as a scientist.  Psy.D.’s are intended primarily to consume research, whereas Ph.D.’s are also trained to conduct as well as consume research.  But the delineation between the two is becoming blurred with time.

There are a number of different kinds of psychologists, including, social psychologists, industrial/organizational psychologists, developmental psychologists, school psychologists, sports psychologist, health psychologists, experimental psychologists, counseling psychologists, marketing psychologists, etc.