What does a psychologist do? A psychologist performs research and application of psychology, examining the effects of behavior on people and evaluating the nature of human behaviors. They are also often involved in the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders. In some rare cases, they may help diagnose or treat people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism, depression, or alcoholism.
A psychologist usually examines emotional and behavioral issues, observing and documenting the process of thought and feeling in their clients, patients, or others. A psychologist is usually trained as an educational psychologist, with a focus on research and theoretical understanding of the psychological theories and concepts. Some psychologists specialize in specific areas such as clinical psychology, counseling, developmental psychology, or social and experimental psychology. A doctoral degree is required for employment as a psychologist.
How do educational psychologists make a career? A master’s degree is generally required in order to become a psychologist. In most states, licensure is based upon the academic credentials of the psychologist, although licensure might involve a combination of education and experience. Most state licensing boards require at least a master’s degree in psychology. In the United States, professional licenses are required to practice independently in a psychotherapy setting.
Where can I find a psychologist? There are several sources for psychologists. One is by region, with a plethora of schools offering programs in all disciplines. Another is by specialty areas, with a smaller number of schools offering programs in just a few specialty areas. Another resource is via the Internet, with a multitude of online schools offering degrees in psychology. Finally, in Canada, there are many accredited colleges that offer doctorate programs.
What jobs do professional psychologists typically have? Many other healthcare professionals also perform psychological services in the community, including therapists, counselors, nurses and doctors. Psychologists, however, tend to focus on one particular area of psychology, such as clinical or cognitive behavioral therapy, or social and individual mental health services. Those who specialize in this field are called clinical psychologists. Those who offer counseling services are known as counselors. And those who provide decision-making skills and intervention strategies are known as behavior psychologists.
Why might someone be interested in entering the field? One reason someone might want to become a psychologist is if they suffer from a mental illness, such as depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse or eating disorders. Some psychologists work with patients who are in recovery from these conditions. Other psychologists specialize in researching the causes of various disorders, looking at how they can be treated, and provide information to help patients cope and ultimately lead healthier lives.
Can I get a psychology degree online? Yes, there are several schools that now offer accredited online degrees in psychology. Students take part in the same classroom training, but their coursework is completed through the Internet. Online programs allow you to complete your requirements in about two years. In most cases, all you will need for this type of program is a computer, Internet access and possibly a cell phone.
Where can I find psychologists willing to serve my needs? Once you know why you are qualified to be a psychologist, you can start looking for qualified practitioners in your area. There are several different types of professionals to choose from including licensed mental health counselors, licensed clinical psychologists and psychiatrists, licensed psychotherapists and psychologist assistants. A doctoral degree is the highest level of education a psychologist may obtain and this credential is very prestigious.
Is a PhD program necessary to become a psychologist? A PhD is very important to psychologists as it signifies a significant achievement in one’s academic career and it also shows potential employers that the psychologist has achieved a specific level of expertise in the area of psychology. You must have a master’s degree in order to become a doctor, but a doctoral degree opens up the door to a wide variety of advanced clinical and counseling positions. You will be required to take additional clinical training and attend at least part of a fellowship in order to complete your Ph.D. A doctorate is generally achieved after three to five years of full time work in a doctoral program.
How many clinical psychologists often work on a staff or as a psychiatrist? The number of hours a psychologist works varies greatly. Some work one to two years on a staff and only receive a little overtime; while other clinical psychologists often work seven to ten years as a therapist and psychologist. Most commonly, therapists take on one patient for an entire year, while the psychologist will take on several patients for a full year.
How do I find out more about employment opportunities with community psychologists? In general, psychologists are available by phone, fax, and email. Most will prefer to keep their telephone number anonymous so that colleagues will not have knowledge of their employment. If you are seeking employment with community psychologists, you may find this information is listed on the website of a local psychological association. You may also find that most community psychologists have websites that will list their contact information.