Do you find the human mind interesting? Do you have a heart for helping people with psychological issues and mental health problems? Then the career to become a psychologist might be the perfect career for you.
In this article, we will explore they way to become a psychologist, and look at what a psychologist actually does every day. We will also look at some of the typical questions, like:
- How long does it take to become a psychologist?
- Is it hard to become a psychologist?
- What subjects do you have to study to become a psychologist?
- Do you need a license to practice psychology?
What does a psychologist do?
A psychologist performs the following activities as part of their job
- Listens to a mental health patient
- Communicates with the mental patient to reach the core of the issue
- Analyzes the mental and emotional thought life of the patient
- Employs different ways of methods of psychotherapy and talk therapy
- Prepares a plan for the healing of the patient
- Follows up on the healing plan with tools and methods such as therapy and medication
A psychologist can also work as a consultant, be in research or education, or work in a private company to analyze and evaluate communication and marketing initiatives.
How to become a psychologist
The steps to become a psychologist typically are:
- You need to get a college level education first, depending on the requirements of your country.
- Obtain a bachelors degrees in psychology at a university. This takes somewhere between 3-5 years depending on the school. It gives you access to jobs in nonprofit organizations, marketing, advertising, government and social services agencies. It’s a very popular area of study.
- You can then proceed to earn a masters degree, which will require another 2-3 years. This allows you to pursue jobs in government, healthcare, mental healthcare and human services.
- Continuing to obtain a PhD / doctoral degree is another 3-4 years of study. This allows you to get positions in research, higher education and much more.
- Studying psychology, you can specialize in a vast array of study fields
- You need a license or registration through a national organization to practice psychology and use the title of Psychologist in both America (United States), UK and Australia. It is often obtained through practical experience and an exam, and typically needs to be re-validated. Different licenses are available at doctoral and master, giving access to titles such as Psychological Associate, Practitioner, Licensed specialist and assistant.
- Personally, you need good human skills, listening skills, analytical capacity, organizational skills, academic abilities and empathy
Where do psychologists typically work?
As a psychologist, there is a vast option of exciting career options available. It’s not just what you see in the movies. You can do much more than just “talk to people on couches“. Places of employment include:
- Private companies such as market research firms, advertising agencies and marketing agencies. Many other types of private companies also employ psychologists.
- Healthcare institutions such as hospital, mental health hospitals and clinics
- Study psychology in-depth as a researcher to collect data, examine results, and report findings
- Work in social services, government, law enforcement and intelligence services
- Teach and educate other students of psychology in universities and colleges
- Work in a private practice or
- Start your own private practice
Important study subjects in psychology
Some of the most important topics of study in psychology are:
General Psychology, Abnormal psychology, Clinical psychology, Aging and adulthood, Social development and psychology and Personality theories. You can also study subjects such as history of psychology, statistics and mathematics, developmental psychology, emotion theory, psychotherapy and brain mechanics.
- What do practising psychologists do? (APA.org)
- 10 things I wished I knew before becoming a Psychologist (Careers in psychology)
- Psychology degrees in different states (Online Psychology Degrees)
- How to get licensed (American Psychological Association)
- Learn to become a psychologist (Allpsychologyschools.com)
- 20 Psychology specialties (verywellmind.com)