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Fields of psychology

By Sweetx33tragedy Nov 20, 2013 1296 Words
FIELDS OF PSYCHOLOGY​ 7

​When it comes to psychology there are many different components within the field that one needs to explore before choosing which field of study they want to be in. Psychology in itself is an art as well as a science. Depending on what you want to do in life there are courses available to you to pursue a bachelors of art or a bachelors of science. The different focal points of either bachelor’s degree have to do with the field of psychology one wants to go into. ​The BA does not have such a heavy biological and physical science emphasis as the BS does. The BA deals with more of a social aspect of human behavior, whereas the BS deals with the biochemical basis of human function. The background and experience needed to deal with one of these areas are quite different. Depending on the path you choose you need to keep in mind your interests and goals for after graduation. ​The four fields of psychology I will be talking about are abnormal psychology, clinical psychology, counseling psychology, and educational psychology. These are only four of many fields of psychology that are out there. All fields of psychology are different and deal with different aspects of human behavior and function. There are courses offered for each individual area of study and many times psychologists specialize in these different areas as a career. ​According to Cherry (2013), abnormal psychology is a field of psychology that deals with psychopathology and abnormal behavior. This term covers a broad range of disorders, from depression to OCD to sexual deviation and many more. The types of people who usually work directly in this field are counselors, clinical psychologists and psychotherapists. There are also many different perspectives used in abnormal psychology. Some of these perspectives are behavioral which deals with observable behaviors, medical which focuses on the biological causes of mental illness, and cognitive which focuses on how internal thoughts perceptions and reasoning contribute to psychological disorders. ​The education you need to enter the field of abnormal psychology depends on the type of job you would like to have. If you want to diagnose and treat people with psychological disorders you need to have a doctorate in clinical psychology which is usually a Ph.D or a Psy.D and is a master’s level counselor. Other specialists in abnormal psychology are psychotherapists and social workers. With a bachelors degree you can work as an alcohol and drug counselor, psychiatric technician, or case manager (Miller, 2013). ​Let’s say you get your bachelors in psychology and you want to become a chemical dependency counselor. According to the information found on salary.com (2013), you can make around $50,000 a year. That is just one field of abnormal psychology work you can do, other fields such as clinical psychology which I will be talking about next can make more. One 2000 survey conducted by the American Psychological Association found that the average salary for a licensed clinical psychologist was just under $88,000 a year. ​Clinical psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with the assessment and treatment of mental illness, abnormal behavior and psychiatric problems (Cherry, 2013). To be a clinical psychologist in the U.S. you need a doctorate in psychology and also have to receive training in clinical settings. Most clinical psychologists spend about 4 to 6 years in graduate school after earning a bachelor’s degree. As you can see becoming a clinical psychologist is hard work. There are two different types of degrees available in clinical psychology, one is a Ph.D and the other a Psy.D. In short, Ph.D. programs are centered on research while Psy.D. programs are practice-oriented. ​Clinical psychologists often work in medical settings, private practice or in academic positions at universities and colleges. These psychologists have many job roles such as assessment and diagnosis of psychological disorders, treatment, teaching, conducting research, etc. There are also different approached to clinical psychology, psychodynamic approach which uses techniques such as free association to deal with unconscious motivations. Cognitive behavioral perspective looks at their clients feelings and have they interact with their behaviors and thoughts. The humanistic perspective focuses on things such as self-actualization and tries to help the client realize their full potential. ​Counseling psychology is another field of psychology that focuses on providing therapeutic treatments to clients who experiences a wide variety of symptoms. It is one of the largest specialty areas within psychology. Clinical and counseling psychologists are very similar but the main difference is clinical psychologists usually deal with more severe cases of mental illness. Counseling psychologists also take on a more general approach that encompasses a range of psychotherapeutic techniques. ​To become a counseling psychologist you need a Ph.D, Psy.D, or Ed.D. According to Huds (2013), a counseling psychologist makes about $70,000 a year and this can range from state to state. The pay range of every psychologist not only varies upon state but also depending on the setting in which you work. The last field of psychology I will be talking about is educational psychology. Educational psychology involves the study of how people learn, including topics such as student outcomes, the instructional process, individual differences in learning, gifted learners and learning disabilities (Cherry, 2013). ​This field of psychology looks at the childhood and adolescent learning process and also the social, emotional, and cognitive learning process throughout the entire lifespan. Educational psychology incorporates a number of other fields including, developmental psychology, behavioral psychology, and cognitive psychology. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, educational psychologists much have a doctorate degree in psychology (Education Portal, 2013). They also need to have a year of supervised experience or an Education Specialist in School Psychology. An educational psychologist makes about $70,000 a year, again depending on their setting and state of work (Page, 2013). ​I really find all these fields of studies to be very interesting which is why I chose these 4 to research. If I had to choose one to go into right now it would probably be a counseling psychologist. I would chose counseling psychology because I like how it deals with abnormal psychology but does not deal with such severe cases as a clinical psychologist would. It also provides a great pay range and requires you to earn either a Ph.D., Psy.D., or sometimes even an Ed.D. If I had to choose something other than counseling psychology, I would choose abnormal psychology and probably work as a drug and alcohol counselor. I choose drug and alcohol counseling because I’ve lived with a relative who is dependent on both of these substances. Helping people in need of release from these harmful substances would be something I am definitely interested in. ​Psychology is a field of study that will probably always be in demand. It is such a great field to go into because there is so much you can do with it. It does require a lot of hard work and effort but the outcome is usually a great paying job with plenty of credibility. The field of study in which one chooses to enter should be based on their interests and goals when they graduate. Psychology is such an interesting subject, and I do not think I will ever change my mind on this being what I want to do for the rest of my life.

Reference Page
Cherry, K. (2013). Fields of Psychology, An Overview of the Different Fields of Psychology. Psychology. Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/od/branchesofpsycholog1/a/fields-of-psychology.htm Educational Psychologist: Requirements, Duties, and Outlook. (2013). Education Portal. Retrieved from http://educationportal.com/articles/Educational_Psychologist_Requirements_Duties_and_Outlook.html Huds, D. (2013). How Much Do Counseling Psychologists Get Paid? eHow. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/info_7922000_much-do-counseling-psychologists-paid.html

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