Hello, my name is Bonnie,
I currently have a private practice in psychology (I am also a nurse practitioner but do not practice as PNP anymore since I obtained license in psychology).
My office hours are Monday through Thursday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Often, I am writing psychological reports in the evening and on weekends. Licensed psychologists must have a doctoral degree in psychology and then, pass a State licensing examination to become licensed in their state. If they move to a new state, they must meet the requirements in that state.
I am currently in a practice which shares space with a developmental pediatrician, and 2 therapists (Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Professional Counselor). I have a psychology doctoral student working with me who helps with administering psychological tests. I receive referrals from pediatricians, family practice physicians, psychiatrists, teachers, mental health therapists, pediatric rehabilitation specialists (physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists).
I work with children and so that is the best thing. I enjoy feeling that I have made a difference (hopefully for the better) in a persons life through assessment of their difficulties and recommendations to improve their lives. I receive many referrals to evaluate children for Autism
, Learning, Behavior and Emotional difficulties.
In my practice the most difficult thing is when children do not want to cooperate in a testing session. Generally this means they are anxious or depressed about something. It is necessary to gain their cooperation by first acknowledging their feelings and seeing if they need help with something.
The skills needed include good communication skills, ability to integrate many pieces of data into a whole, and the ability to take good care of self (to have the energy to care for so many others.
I subscribe to the theory that what is most important is the quality of the relationship with the client. To have a good relationship with the client (parent and child) the professional needs to give unconditional positive regard (non-judgmental), be genuine and have empathy. Here is a great explanation of these qualities:http://www.simplypsychology.org/client-centred-therapy.html
I think I answered all the questions but feel free to ask for clarification if needed.
Good luck in your studies,