Of all the schools of modern day science, psychology, the study of the human mind, possibly the one most anomalous in its development and the one most laden with uncovered mystery.
Be it explaining why human beings do the things they do, or accounting for numerous psychological disorders and conditions, or prescribing ways of achieving interpersonal and social ends based on logic and reason, psychology careers find use in several walks of life.
From hospital wards to schools, from prisons to corporate cubicles, from the family living room to the united nations, psychology pervades the human condition in all its entirety.
Psychologists vs. Psychiatrists
Psychology and psychiatry, though both dealing with human minds, are not interchangeable terms. While a psychologist is a scientist looking into the substantial characteristics of the human mind, a psychiatrist is a registered doctor who relies primarily on drugs to treat mental health problems.
Eligibility criteria to become a Clinical Psychologist
+2: No Restrictions
Bachelor’s Degree: BA/B.Sc in Clinical Psychology
Master’s Degree: MA/M.Phil in Clinical Psychology
Career as a Clinical Psychologist
Psychology degrees are granted by several leading institutions across the nation. While admission into these universities is primarily based on your high school records, some of the more competitive programs also conduct their own admission tests that can get quite competitive.
To prepare yourself for the career of a psychologist, it might be a good idea to get into the knack of reading psychology texts early in life while you’re in school. Luckily, a number of prominent psychologists, including William Styron, Viktor Frankl, Malcolm Gladwell, B F Skinner, and Elizabeth Kubler-Ross have published celebrated psychology books that are intended for amateur readers.
A B.Sc in clinical psychology is not the end of the road – it is the beginning. Even though the degree would familiarize yourself with psychological methods of evaluation and acquaint you greatly with how psychologists see the world, you’re only qualified to work in the capacity of a consultant psychologist after a second degree – an M.Sc.
Most psychologists end up studying even longer and acquiring an M.Phil, acquiring extensive experience and putting down thousands of hours of hard work before settling down as a practitioner.
A Day in the life of a Clinical Psychologist
Hello, I’m Rima. I’m a consultant psychologist with an M.Phil specialization in personality disorders. Aside of being an assistant professor in clinical psychology at a central psychiatric institution, I have my own private clinic.
If you met me as a patient, I’d probably spend this time analyzing your life. But today, let’s put mine under the spotlight!
9:00 AM: I arrive at the university where I teach. This session, I’m handling the cognitive and behavioral therapy course unit for M.Sc students, and today in particular, I’ll be discussing the theories of Albert Ellis, a prominent researcher in rational emotive therapy. Aside of the pleasure of teaching, this keeps me on top of the latest developments in the area and I enjoy it greatly.
11:00 AM: After class, I typically pay a quick visit to the university clinic. Being a government facility, we see people from all walks of life going through varying poignant degrees of suffering. I don’t directly oversee patients here, but some junior scholars do and I have to supervise their methodology.
1:00 PM: I’m out of the university for the day – this is early, but only because I’m on my way to a weekly group therapy meet for women with Borderline Personality Disorder.
In spite of being one of the most stigmatized mental conditions out there, these women have more than reason to get my time of day – BPD typically manifests itself in extreme human suffering, and these women have faced rape, abuse, neglect, and discrimination and subjugation in forms that those unfamiliar with this side of society will find difficult to fathom.
2:00 PM: One of the most important aspects of being a psychologist is active listening. My role as part of this group meet is to provide the participants with a platform to express themselves and be accepted in spite of their broken pasts.
I don’t speak much – I let the participants do the talking. Once a member has spoken, I encourage constructive responses to collectively build an ambiance of support. The motive is simple – let them know that they’re not alone.
4:00 PM: The session typically extends beyond the two-hour limit, and we’re now well past it. My clinic begins at five, so I’m trying to speed things up a little. People with BPD often exhibit extreme reactions to perceived abandonment and disinterest, so telling them that we’re done for the day before they manage to speak is possibly the worst thing you can do as a mediator. I’m considering moving on to bi-weekly meetings soon.
5:30 PM: I’ve reached the clinic and as expected, my first patient has been waiting. I apologize for the delay and invite him into my study. He’s a young college student suffering from bipolar disorder type 1, or manic depressive disorder. For the past several months, these sittings have comprised of logo therapy – a Viennese school of psychology from Victor Frankl.
The session will last one hour, and my clinic will continue until 9:30 PM. Unlike what you might think, I don’t get tired of talking to my patients, ever.
Practicing psychology makes it clear that while most happy people tend to be alike, each unhappy person is unhappy in a different way. We hope this article have added something valuable to your research about this profession. Have your say in the comment box below. Enjoy Reading!