“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.”-William James
A psychologist helps people live happier and meaningful lives. If human behaviour fascinates you and you want to make a difference in the world by helping people, then a career in psychology may be best for you.
You can help people manage their problems and make this world a happier place for them. You will be studying the human thought process, perception and social cognition and learning more about the fascinating ways in which the human mind works.
What is a psychologist?
A psychologist is an allied health professional whose specialization is in the field of treating mental health problems and human behaviour. A Psychologist may be called a doctor if they hold a doctoral degree (Ph.D.).
Psychologists have an expertise in human behaviour. They learn the art of using scientific methods to study the factors that influence how people think, feel and learn. They utilise various evidence based strategies and interventions to help people improve their behaviour and fight challenges.
Where does a psychologist work?
A psychologist can work in a variety of settings where their role is to assess, diagnose, treat or prevent mental health problems.
A psychologist can work in his own private practice or in hospitals. They can also choose to work in the private industry, schools, courts, community health services, prisons or the defence force. Psychologists also have many career opportunities in the teaching or research fields.
They may be working at an individual level or as a part of an organizational team.
What’s the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?
Although a lot of people may use these terms interchangeably for a mental health professionals, they are in fact very different from each other. A psychologist can help individuals with mental health issues by using methods like counselling and psychotherapy. A psychiatrist can perform these procedures and additionally prescribe medication to help the course of treatment. A psychiatrist is thus called a medical doctor (M.D) and has undergone medical training as a doctor before specialising in psychiatry.
What does a psychologist do?
Most psychologists work directly to help people suffering from mental health problems.
Psychologists help people suffering from mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, stress or relationship problems. They even help with other issues like learning problems, substance abuse, parenting issues, or to ease out the stress of a chronic illness.
Their ability to positively influence behaviour is utilised by various firms, businesses and market research companies. Psychologists conduct tests such as personality tests, aptitude tests, vocational or IQ tests. This can help you decide whether a profession or job is suited for you or not.
The job of a psychologist is diverse. You can find a psychologist formulating a campaign to help Australians quit smoking or you can find them drafting a test to decide your employment possibilities.
What is a clinical psychologist?
Many psychologists are trained in the field of clinical psychology. This requires specialised training in mental health and psychological problems. Clinical psychologists can also specialise in other fields like forensic, neuropsychology or educational fields.
The three main components of clinical psychology are:
- Cognitive behaviour
- Psychodynamic approach
- Humanistic perspective
A clinical psychologist will listen to the client’s problems. They will derive an idea about the situation to see how the patient is performing emotionally, mentally and intellectually. They will then try to find out the root of the problem and discover what is leading to the emotions and the thoughts that the patient is experiencing. Then the psychologist will come up with a solution which will help the patient deal with their problem more effectively.
How to become a psychologist?
In order to become a psychologist you will require a four years of undergraduate degree in psychology. This could be a degree of Bachelors of psychology or Bachelors of psychological science. This is followed by a two year Master of psychology or Doctor of psychology postgraduate degree.
Once you are qualified to practice as a psychologist, you will be required to register with the Psychologists registration board. Many psychologists are registered members of the Australian Psychological society.
Search for a psychologist or counsellor in your local area on Australia Counselling.