Common Types of Psychologist Professions – Which Is Right For You?
Whether you are contemplating studying psychology or are already studying Psychology you are probably curious about which fields of psychology are available for you to specialize in. There are many different types of psychology professions and it is important to choose the one that suits your knowledge, expertise, and interests. Here are some common types of psychologist professions and some more about them to help you get acquainted with different branches of Psychology.
What Are the Nine Branches Of Psychology in Australia?
The Psychology Board of Australia acknowledges nine branches of psychology specialization. The 9 branches include:
- Community psychology
- Clinical neuropsychology
- Organisational psychology
- Counseling psychology
- Educational and developmental psychology
- Sports and exercise psychology
- Forensic psychology
- Health psychology
Community psychologists help groups of people within communities. Some examples of people they work with include new migrants, domestic abuse survivors, remote communities, people experiencing substance abuse, and economically disadvantaged individuals. Community psychologists counsel community groups and work to construct programs to help people at risk of suffering from mental illness.
Clinical Psychologists are experts in mental health and are qualified with APAC-accredited training. They use a mix of science and clinical practice to provide support, counseling, and assistance to those with moderate to severe mental illness. Clinical Psychologists undertake 8 years of training. First, they must complete a four-year undergraduate degree followed by a Graduate Certificate in Psychology and a Graduate Diploma in Psychology. After their studies, graduates will then complete a 1 to 2-year registrar program to be admitted to the Psychology Board of Australia.
An organisational psychologist usually works within a large organization and focuses on the well-being of those in the company. They assist employees with conflict resolution, team building exercises, improving performance, and increasing satisfaction within the company. Organisational psychologists may also use their expertise to assess and test potential employees for their ability to succeed in a role.
Counseling Psychologists counsel, diagnose and assist people with mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and PTSD. They also counsel people through problems in their lives, such as abuse, trauma, relationship breakdowns, and major life events. They provide tools to help their patients manage stress, anxiety, and trauma. Counseling psychologists are usually great listeners and must be willing to hear people vent and express their emotions.
School, Educational and Developmental Psychologists
Educational psychologists work in educational facilities such as schools, TAFEs, and Universities. School and educational psychologists play a crucial role in helping the overall well-being of a school community. Some roles of a school psychologist include:
- Helping students achieve academic success.
- Assisting students who are having difficulties at school and home.
- Intervening and providing support to children experiencing violence and abuse.
Sports and Exercise Psychologist
Sports and Exercise Psychologists assist athletes by using psychological methods to help improve their physical performance, focus, stamina, and team building. They also assist with reducing stress and anxiety before major sporting events to improve focus.
Forensic psychologists use their expertise in law and psychology to help people understand the legal system. Forensic psychologists generally work in the judicial system and help assist lawyers and other court employees to understand the psychology and motivations of those who are under trial.
Common duties of a forensic psychologist include:
- Assessing the status of a client’s mental health and cognitive abilities before they go on trial.
- Counseling those who may be at risk of depression, self-harm, and suicide.
- Provide court testimonies using their professional knowledge.
- Assembling reports and documentation for court trials.
- Accessing the likelihood of recidivism of individuals.
Health Psychologists use their knowledge of health and psychology to promote healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle to prevent obesity-related health conditions in the community. Some duties of a health psychologist include helping people with food aversions, motivating individuals to have a healthy relationship with food and exercise, and creating programs to help people maintain an exercise and healthy eating routine.
Which Psychology Specialization is Right For You?
You can use a Psychology degree and graduate diploma in many ways. But it’s recommended to do your research on different specializations and choose which one is right for you.
If you’re empathetic and like to help people then a career in clinical or school psychology might be right for you. But if you want something fast-paced, interesting, and challenging you may want to learn more about organizational or forensic psychology.
However, a Psychology degree doesn’t always need to lead to a career as a psychologist. You can also use your degree as a pathway to becoming a human resources manager, community worker, or youth worker. There are so many career options for psychology graduates to choose from and it’s important to choose the right branch of psychology that suits your expertise and interests.
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