How to Become a Psychologist
Are you planning to make your career in psychology? If yes, then that is the best career path which you are thinking of doing.
You must understand what psychology is and how to become a psychologist before deciding to become a psychologist, as it will help you in the future.
Once you are aware of this fact, you can answer why psychology is a good career option.
In the present scenario, psychologists are employed in a different part of the world everywhere.
They are working in top universities, hospitals, government agencies, private firms, etc.
Most of them are also practicing and helping people to live a better life.
Therefore if you want to become a good psychologist, you need to work hard and practice your entire life.
What people think about Psychology
Many people think that psychology is like astrology, where the psychologist sees the hand and predicts the future of a person. But in the real sense, it is not so.
The field of psychology is very much and therefore is different from other areas.
To get a better understanding and knowledge about psychology, let’s start by defining what psychology is.
What does Psychology Mean
The word psychology has been derived from two Greek words psyche and soul. Psycho means soul, and logy means systematic knowledge.
Therefore, psychology is a study of human behavior in an environment and as a discipline; it is mainly based upon research work and scientific theories.
Many psychologists have also defined psychology as the study of experience, the study of the human mind.
Some of them said it is a science of behavior while the others were of the view that psychology is a systematic study of experience and practice.
While some of them emphasize experience, there were also those psychologists for whom mental activities were more important.
As the field of psychology went on advancing, the definition kept changing.
Methods of Psychology
There are two different psychology methods, such as observational or introspection, natural observation, or experimental purposes.
Branches of Psychology
Psychology has been divided into many different branches from the very beginning; let’s look at those branches.
- Child Psychology
- Abnormal Psychology
- Social Psychology
- Animal Psychology
- Physiological Psychology
- Applied Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Educational Psychology
- Industrial or Business Psychology
- Psychology of Crimes
Father of Psychology
Wilhelm Wundt is known as the Father of Psychology.
He was the first person to open an institute for experimental psychology at the University of Leipzig, Germany, in 1879. People suffer from mental problems such as stress, anxiety, depression, phobias, substance abuse, etc.
According to a study, nearly 25 percent of adults in the U.S have a mental illness in any given year, and 50 percent of people will develop such a problem in their lifetime.
To help those people in coping up with such kind of problems, psychologists play a vital role. Psychologists are non-medical doctors. They are the person who specializes in the study of the mind and human behavior.
Psychologists help people in overcoming their mental problems such as anxiety, fears, etc. They help these people to lead better lives.
Role of Psychology
The role of psychologists is not small or limited.
Some of them do counseling and research work, while others conduct personality tests and teach in colleges and universities.
The primary role of psychologists is to help people in the best possible way to lead a happy and peaceful life.
After you have completed your psychology degree, the next thing is that you can work in many different settings such as
- marketing research firms,
- government agencies,
- management consulting firms,
- schools and universities,
- nursing homes,
- rehabilitation centers,
- social service organizations and clinics.
How to Become a Psychologist?
Becoming a psychologist is not an easy thing. Psychologist mainly deals with mental health. And therefore, you need to remember that they are highly trained professionals. They need a license to practice.
The points which are mentioned below are the essential steps for becoming a good psychologist:
Firstly, a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology: The process of how to become a psychologist start by getting a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
You can enroll in a reputed college and university and opt for any course of psychology that includes general psychology, social psychology, statistics, experimental and developmental psychology.
Secondly, a Master’s Degree in Psychology: After completing your bachelor’s degree in psychology, you need to study masters.
For that, you need to find out about the various degree programs that are best suited for you.
You should select a college or university, depending on your interest.
Thirdly and most importantly, you need to understand that Psychology is a vast field. Your interests in an area will decide whether you are going to become an experimental psychologist, a counselor, a social psychologist, or a clinical psychologist.
Fourthly, having a doctorate is essential to becoming a successful psychologist, depending on your area of interest.
You can also sit or appear for different competitive exams such as GRE, GPA, etc.
If you want to open your clinic and practice, then you need to get a license.
There are specific criteria that you must fulfill to get a license.
There are many different criteria, such as presenting case studies, passing a national test, participating in various conferences and seminars.
You can also help the professors in a doctoral program with a research project, which is also an effective way to gain more knowledge and information about the scope of psychology.
The points mentioned above are a brief guide to help you understand the steps you need to follow if you want to become a psychologist.
Exams you need to pass for becoming a psychologist
There are different types of exams that you need to pass, which are as follows:
PhDs in psychology is a highly competitive course that is offered by various universities.
A PsyD (Doctor of Psychology) is a practical degree. Professional schools of psychology are the ones that offer such a degree. Then they become a licensed psychologist.
And this degree is for those who want to help others through the method of counseling and psychotherapy.
If you want to enhance your skills, then you can enroll in an EdD course.
People who love to work in schools, hospitals, or private practice planning mainly opt for this course.
Therefore you need to remember that having a master’s or Ph.D. degree in psychology is not enough. This degree doesn’t mean that you will become a good psychologist.
You need to understand your job role and the steps you need to take to help others.
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