Health Psychologist Job Description Example

By | September 9, 2016
Health psychologist job description, duties, tasks, and responsibilities

Health psychologists engender hope in their patients.

Health Psychologist Job Description Example

What Does a Health Psychologist Do?

Health psychologists are responsible for addressing the biological, social, and psychological factors that cause or arise from an illness.

Their job description entails assisting people in dealing with the biopsychosocial effects of a physical health issue.

Usually, they carry out a behavioral assessment of patient to identify ill habits such as smoking, substance abuse or poor dieting, which contributes to ill health.

They give recommendations on appropriate lifestyle/behaviors that improve health and general wellbeing.

As part of their duties, they help patients deal with the psychological side effect of chronic illnesses such as cancer and diabetes.

They also help families of patients deal with the psychological outcome of tending their ill one.

Health psychologists carry out research on the mental processes associated with a health problem.

They give patients a detailed explanation of their health status and suggest ways to achieve a healthier condition.

They also foster better doctor-patient communication by advising doctors on more suitable ways to effectively communicate with patients.

Health psychologists work in a range of fields, usually most of them occupy positions in hospitals or healthcare facilities where they counsel patients and their close relations on how best to overcome the psychological challenges of an illness.

Some others find relevance in government agencies and research facilities where they respectively carry out investigation on the relationship between a psychological distress and a physical illness.

Health Psychologists usually have a solid knowledge of psychology, biology, and health principles.

They employ their knowledge in conducting therapy sessions for patients with long term illness.

As part of their work description, health psychologists help console bereaved families, as well as offer them bereavement counselling.

To pursue a career as a health psychologist, you require an undergraduate degree in psychology or in a related field, and a further doctoral degree in psychology (Psy.D.) obtained after a year’s internship and passing the licensing Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology.

As a health psychologist, you require certain key skills/qualities, which include a passion for helping others, proper communication skills, refined research skills, and a great deal of practice.

You should also have sound problem-solving skills, which is required for developing and implementing strategies to improving patients’ health conditions.

Health psychology as a branch of psychology generally addresses the emotional, mental, socioeconomic, and behavioral effects of various illnesses on individuals.

Health Psychologist Job Description Example

In fulfilling their role, health psychologists perform various tasks and responsibilities presented in the job description example below:

  • Assist patients dealing with the psychological effect of a long term illness
  • Recommend appropriate lifestyle choices, such that promotes general health
  • Counsel the family of an ill one by providing tips on how to manage the psychological aspect of the illness
  • Conduct research and investigation on the relationship between a physical illness and its associated mental drain
  • Explain to patients their current health condition and recommend ways to improve health situation
  • Promote doctor-patient communication to ensure general health needs of patients are met
  • Work in a hospital setting to counsel and address the mental health needs of patients
  • Engage in the study of mental processes to develop new approach to treatment
  • Organize therapy sessions for clients/patients recovering from a serious illness
  • Provide bereavement counselling to families that lost a loved one
  • Tracking the psychological progress of a patient and modify treatment methods when necessary
  • Maintain record of patient treatment plan and progress
  • Proffer solutions on how to deal with psychological side effect of illnesses such as cancer and diabetes
  • Give tips on how to effectively manage the pain associated with an illness
  • Employ specialized treatment methods such as psychoanalysis, psychometric tests, and diagnostic tests.

Health Psychologist Resume Preparation

In preparing your health psychologist resume, the above sample job description can serve as a useful guide in filling out the work experience section of the resume.

The above stated duties and responsibilities highlight what employers look out for in an applicant for the role of a health psychologist, therefore having them in your resume helps boost your profile.

Requirements – Skills, Abilities, and Knowledge – for Health Psychologist Job

The following are major requirements you will need to meet if you are seeking the job of a health psychologist:

  • Education and Training: Prospective health psychologists usually complete psychology or a related course as an undergraduate degree study, after which they proceed for doctoral study to obtain a clinical degree (Psy.D.), which comprises of a year’s internship in a clinical setting, and subsequently passing an examination to be licensed to practice as a professional psychologist
  • Compassion: Health psychologists require a lot of passion for the physically and mental unhealthy individuals
  • Communication: Health psychologists are able to effectively relate with patient to identify the source of a mental/behavioral distress
  • Problem-solving Skills: They are also proficient in developing and implementing appropriate solutions and strategies in addressing a patient’s issue
  • Patience: The field of psychology deals with mental problems and habits, which take time to overcome. Therefore, health psychologists must exercise lots of patience.

Health Psychologist Skills for Resume

The above mentioned skills and qualification are among the key employer requirements for a health psychologist job, therefore, highlighting them in your resume will increase your chances of being called to an interview by a recruiter.


The health psychologist job description provides an overview of the job requirements necessary for preparation and succeeding on the job.

It also provides exhaustive information for employers to be able to make job descriptions that will enable their newly hired health psychologists to perform optimally on the job.

Did you find our health psychologist job description useful? Or is there other duties of the role you would like to add? Please leave your comment in the box below.