Psychology is a very broad discipline engaged with the study of the human mind, the human behavior, and other processes associated with the way people feel and think. Psychology can be approached in a great number of ways, from taking into consideration biology’s role in mental health to examining the role of the surrounding environment on one’s behavior. There are a lot of sub-disciplines of psychology that are worth mentioning; examples are social psychology, clinical psychology, occupational health, and cognitive psychology.
Common tasks that a psychologist would perform include conducting therapeutic interviews, carrying out psychological tests, evaluating sources of different problems, and adopting specific counseling and treatment techniques. Psychologists can also provide support in areas like study motivation, teaching skills, occupational behavior, and team dynamics. They can evaluate mental and emotional states of both individuals and groups of people, offering various treatment solutions.
A crucial quality to being a psychologist is patience. Curiosity and willingness to learn in a constantly developing subject area can turn out to be key, too. These other skills can also be considered:
In order to practice as a psychologist, you undoubtedly need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, or one of its sub-disciplines. You can definitely start preparing from high school by taking subjects like chemistry, biology, and physics; you should also be prepared that the admissions procedure for disciplines like psychology is highly selective, and you need to keep your academic scores very high. Furthermore, subjects like sociology, literature, and history would give you some view of what motivates people, which is a good background for any mental health profession.
The institution you choose has to be an accredited one and have a good ranking for the research it carries out – research is an essential part of the discipline of psychology. Your degree should be a good balance between theory, practice, and clinical studies. Most psychologists take their studies further, and an option would be to either pursue a Ph.D. (which is perceived to put equal emphasis on research and clinical training), or a Psy.D., which is a newer professional degree, offered by the professional schools of psychology, emphasizing clinical practice with only a minimum of research training. Both options take at least five years to complete.
There is a large pool of career opportunities for psychologists, especially since today’s society is becoming more stressed on a daily basis. A traditional approach is to provide counseling or to teach. You can work at a university, a community college or a professional school, where you can teach or conduct research. There is also the possibility to work at a hospital, a government agency (the military, law enforcement, or the penal system), or a community agency. You can also manage your own private counseling, where you decide on the type of patients you wish to work with. Many larger companies need the service of psychologists, too, to help management with issues like work-life balance, team dynamics, and other employee life and health-related issues. No matter what your career aspirations are, remember that this is a profession that should mainly be driven by your own willingness and passion to help people.
Here you can find schools to study Psychology. Choose where you would like to study Psychology:
Job positions for Psychology: