Top 10 Skills Every Psychologist Needs

Being a psychologist can be a rewarding, but challenging field. A psychologist requires a diverse set of skills and traits to be successful in their line of work and improve outcomes for their clients. Here are 10 skills every psychologist should have.


Top 10 Skills every Psychologist needs. Contact FNU at 305-821-3333 for more information!

Skill #1. Communication

Communication is important in any field but in psychology, it is paramount and is the hallmark of what a psychologist does. Psychology is about understanding human behavior and what can predispose humans to act in a specific manner. There are a variety of clients with a variety of conditions and knowing how to communicate with them is important in gathering information. This skill is also important in portraying one’s feelings and how to practically apply observations that are seen.

Skill #2. Patience

Even though you may be armed with a Bachelor of Science Psychology degree, there are certain things that a degree cannot teach you. One is patience. As you can imagine, dealing with patients in this field can be particularly difficult because their behavior deviates from that which we consider being “normal.” Therefore, being patient with these clients, as well as continuing to be motivated, is important.

Skill #3. Ethics

If you are in any profession that entails taking care of people in any capacity, ethics plays an essential role. Whether it is treating all patients the same equally, informing them of their rights, or just being honest with them, ethics guides professional humanistic practice. This is also paramount in establishing a rapport with clients, as they have the right to be directly involved in important decisions being made. Unfortunately, bias is also prevalent in this field. Ethics ensures it is not present.

Skill #4. Problem-Solving

It is one thing to have a course of action and try to enact it as you envisioned. However, what if things don’t go as planned? One essential skill a psychologist should have is the ability to solve a problem when it arrives. Often, you will be required to step in and come up with a solution that will benefit all parties involved.

Skill #5. Research

When it comes to actual practice, there is nothing performed that hasn’t been backed by evidence-based practice and research. The reason why this is important is that there are trials and data needed to fully understand if something can be beneficial to patients or not. If what you are trying to accomplish hasn’t been backed by a study, it could pose a potential risk to the patient and towards your credibility as well. You will also have to look at scientific journals and do your independent research so you can improve your practice.

Skill #6. Commitment to Learning

Any field that ties directly to caring for others is constantly evolving. There are new studies that are published, research trials that are conducted, and new information made available to the public. If you are going to enter this field, having a commitment towards learning for the rest of your life is a prerequisite. While it can be difficult to keep on top of everything, you will still need to have at least a general understanding of what is changing in your field so you can have better outcomes for those who entrust you with guidance.

Skill #7. Organization

When it comes to transcribing and analyzing research data, which can be very heavy in specific cases, you will need to understand how to be organized. There will be a lot of information that will be thrown your way, from new research studies to the data of your clients. Having a way to organize everything will ease this potential burden. This is also essential for doing your job efficiently.

Skill #8. Emotional Stability

The best psychologists have control over their emotions and have a deep, embedded emotional stability. Every day, you may hear very disturbing stories. Certain psychological disorders can lead certain people to have suicidal tendencies, disturbing thoughts, and other potentially frightening scenarios. Keeping your wits about you is important so you can professionally conduct your practice.

Skill #9. Listening

Listening, particularly active listening, is extremely important, especially when it comes to counseling and coming up with therapeutic interventions to help clients in your care. Any information that comes from a client is pertinent to finding a way to improve their condition.

Skill #10. Compassion

Finally, psychologists must have a sense of compassion embedded within their character. Being empathetic can improve communication and the relationship that you will be establishing.

Florida National University’s Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology

These are 10 skills that every psychologist needs to be successful. Challenges are ever-present but having these character traits can improve your future practice immensely. Florida National University offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychology Degree program. Are you ready to begin your career as a psychologist? Contact FNU at 305-821-3333 for more information on our Psychology program.