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What is psychology?
Psychology studies the human mind and its functions; particularly those functions that affect behaviour in given contexts. If you want to pursue a career in psychology, you’ll need excellent communication skills, patience, strong ethics and excellent problem-solving skills.
You’ll also need to be a good researcher and have excellent numeracy skills. Psychology is an important job, as it involves helping people to solve their problems.
Therefore, you will need to study psychology in depth and gain the required qualifications before you can work in this profession.
Areas in Psychology
There are nine main areas of psychology.
- Health Psychology: As a health psychologist, you would promote general wellbeing and have an excellent understanding of physical illness in order to help people with physical health problems.
- Clinical Psychology: Working as a clinical psychologist, you would handle a broad range of mental and physical health problems, such as depression, anxiety, learning difficulties and addiction.
- Educational Psychology: This area is concerned with helping children and young people in educational settings.
- Academia, Research and Teaching: In this area of psychology, you could work as a university lecturer or an academic researcher.
- Forensic Psychology: As a forensic psychologist, you could work in a variety of fields, such as working directly with prisoners or applying psychological theory to criminal investigations.
- Counselling: Working as a counselling psychologist, you would deal with a broad range of mental health problems that concern life issue such as domestic violence, bereavement and sexual abuse.
- Neuropsychology: This role involves working with people who have had strokes, traumatic brain injuries, neurodegenerative diseases, tumours and other health issues that affect the brain.
- Sports and Exercise Psychology: In this area of psychology, you could help athletes with their personal development, counsel referees who are dealing with stress or advise coaches on how to create cohesion in their teams.
- Occupational Psychology: This career is concerned with the performance of people in workplaces.
Why study a psychology course?
All practising psychologists must hold postgraduate qualifications. You will have to complete an accredited degree course or a conversion course. This will qualify you for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership, which is required by all psychologists in the United Kingdom.
Once you have your degree and membership, you must go on to further training in order to specialise in your chosen field of psychology. If you want to become a psychologist, you’ll have to be committed. It takes six years to complete all the training.
Career Outcomes from a Psychology Course
Once you have the appropriate qualifications, available career options include:
- Clinical Psychologist: In this role, you would aim to reduce the distress of your clients and help to improve their psychological wellbeing.
- Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner: This role involves assessing and supporting adults who have common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
- Play Therapist: This position involves using creativity and abstract measure to help children overcome difficult situations.
- Psychotherapist: This role involves utilising talk therapy to help clients explore and express their feelings, behaviour and thought processes.