Psychology as a Career

What is Psychology as a Career?

Planning to pursue a career in psychology? One of the most common questions that students planning a career in this field always ask is what psychology is all about. Psychology is one of the most common career majors in many universities and colleges and it is also one of the most misunderstood.

In the simplest form, psychology can be defined as the study of both the mind and human behavior. Psychologists use a variety of methods or techniques in order to try and explain human thought, motivations, emotions as well as behavior. It is widely applied in the treatment of a variety of mental health conditions but that is just one aspect of its application in our daily lives. Psychology is also generally applied to help people enhance their performance, in self-help sessions, in motivational sessions, ergonomics and many other areas in our daily lives.

Because the human mind, behavior, emotions, motivations and actions is quite broad and diverse, psychology, which attempts to study these areas, is similarly a very broad field but it generally encompasses the following areas:-

  • Personality
  • Thoughts
  • Development
  • Motivations
  • Feelings
  • Emotions
  • Behavior

Because of this diversity in the field of psychology itself, there is a diverse range of careers where psychology can be applied to solve a variety of human and social problems. It is generally applied in politics, business, sports, the workplace, criminal investigations, policing, military training, computing, on kids and many others in order to achieve certain desired positive outcomes. In a way, every form of human endeavor will require a psychologist because they specialize in the human mind and emotions.

Evolution of Psychology

The modern psychology as we know it evolved from the late 19th century and was only fully developed in the 20th century through the contributions of such famous thinkers and psychologists such as Sigmund Freud. Today psychology is a separate science that is studied in its own right.

Schools of Thought in Psychology

The development of psychology has been an ongoing process and over the time, several schools of thought emerged to explain human behavior as well as motivations and emotions. Every school of thought generally has a period of dominance before it is superseded by another school of thought. In some instances, two or more schools of thought may view for space and compete for dominance. Some of the main schools of thought when it comes to psychology include the following:-

  • Structuralism
  • Humanism
  • Cognitivism
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Behaviorism
  • Functionalism

Modern Psychological Studies

The modern psychological study is more empirical and relies on the objective scientific methods in order to study, understand as well as predict human behavior. The study of psychology in the modern environment is highly structured. This generally begins with the formulation of hypotheses which is then subjected to tests through empirical methods.

There are two main areas of focus when it comes to the study of modern psychology. These include the following:-

  • Applied psychology
  • Academic psychology

While academic psychology studies several subtopics within psychology in order to improve on our knowledge base, applied psychology is mainly concerned with applying the principles of psychology in solving the real world problems.

Areas of Psychology

There are several specialty areas when it comes to the study of psychology. These include the following:-

  • Abnormal psychology
  • Biological psychology
  • Comparative Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Development Psychology
  • School Psychology
  • Personal Psychology

With such diverse fields, you are likely to find a niche in psychology where you can comfortably apply yourself to solve the problems of human mind and behavior.

Tips for Choosing the Right Psychologist in Sydney

Tips for Choosing the Right Psychologist for You

Psychologists are trained to help you deal with emotional problems and issues. They assist you in dealing and overcoming negative feelings and problems that are beyond your control. They also treat more severe mental disorders and diseases, but in this article we will limit ourselves to emotional disturbances and problems. These issues may arise from number of situations, including but not limited to, marriage or relationship problems, dealing with loss of a loved one, performance difficulties in school, job, etc., loss of job, family issues, depression, stress or substance abuse. Although, you may want to deal with these problems on your own, and at times you successfully can, but there are other times when you may need professional help to keep these problems from interfering in your normal life. Psychologists can effectively help you deal with such situations and return you to your normal self. But choosing the right psychologists is very important in this process. The considerations for choosing an appropriate psychologist are:


It is essential to verify the education and credentials of the psychologist you are looking to visit. They should have a post graduate degree in clinical psychology. After completing their doctoral degree, they should have undertaken a supervised clinical internship in a hospital and have at least one year of supervised experience prior to practicing independently. They should be licensed to practice. You can contact your state licensing board to check the standing of their license and that they don’t have any complaints filed against them. It can be helpful to acquire the number of years they have been practicing as experience contributes to the effectiveness.

Area of Expertise & Theoretical Orientation

Clinical psychology is a vast field and usually psychologists specialize in one or two branches. There are psychologists that mainly help families and children, marriage counselling, etc. Hence, it is essential to choose a psychologist which deals in the area you need help in as it ensures that he/she has the required experience to help you. It can be helpful to ask your doctor or people you trust for recommendations. Also, research their methodology. Different psychologists use different approaches and not every approach may work for you. It is recommended to talk to the psychologists about their method of therapy so see whether it works for you and your issues or not. For instances, for unconscious motivation of behavior, you might prefer a psychodynamic therapists or if you wish to change your thought pattern, you may want to go to cognitive therapists.

Rapport & Comfort Level

It is important to choose a psychologist with proper credentials and area of expertise but if you don’t develop a level of comfort or rapport with them, they are pointless. Not everyone can find comfort grounds with any psychologist. Also, it helps you discover whether you will be able to share personal and private information about your life with them comfortably. A good rapport is key to the success of the treatment. If you are not satisfied with the therapists you have chosen, change them without feeling guilty.

These tips are just the basic guidelines to assist you in finding the right psychologists, so that you can find the help that you need to be normal.