What is Psychology?
Earning a psychology degree will allow you to pursue a wide variety of career paths, from animal research to organizational behavior. Generally, those in the field use psychological knowledge and research to address problems, such as treating mental illness or substance abuse. They may also work with scientists to conduct psychological research and/or teach students at colleges and universities.
Most psychologists fall into one of three categories: applied psychologists, research psychologists, and mental health psychologists. Applied psychologists use psychological principles and research to solve real-world problems. Research psychologists focus their efforts on conducting studies and experiments using humans and/or animals to advance knowledge in the field. Mental health psychologists are probably the most familiar, as they work with people experiencing mental disorders or psychological distress.
Every job and its specific requirements differ, but some of the most common responsibilities for psychologists include conducting scientific studies of behavior and brain function, observing individuals, performing surveys, identifying emotional patterns, and discussing possible treatment plans with clients. They also often write articles, research papers, and reports in order to share findings with others in the field. Additionally, these professionals often supervise interns, clinicians, and counseling professionals.
While many graduates choose to pursue employment as psychologists, other opportunities are available, including becoming counselors and therapists. Most of these professionals focus their studies on a particular topic such as addiction, family, bereavement, or trauma. Counselors can also specialize in working with a specific population like children, teens, adults, or the elderly. These professionals may work in numerous settings, providing private or group sessions. Some even offer counseling on the phone or through telehealth sessions in addition to face-to-face.
There are many different types of counselors, but all professionals in this field are dedicated to helping people live healthier, happier lives. They are trained to assist with a variety of social, emotional, and mental health problems, as well as serve as advocates, helping their patients manage the physical and psychological difficulties that can accompany ailments. An important distinction regarding counselors is that they cannot prescribe medications of any kind.