What Can You Do With a Psychology Degree?
Ever wonder what you can do with a psychology degree? “Psychology is a varied and broad area in which to participate in society. Careers range from education and teaching classes, corporate design, experience reorientation in industry, academic enhancement, mental health treatment and more,” Todd R. Silverstein PsyD, a Psychologist at the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain Michigan explained. “While specialization sometimes takes effort, a mental health career in healthcare can change significantly given the variety.”
Psychology typically encompasses a very broad curriculum, including a variety of secondary education opportunities. Through the utilization of both communication and science courses, educations in this field enable students to pursue many diverse occupations and opportunities across the discipline of healthcare. The term “Therapist” can mean a number of unique disciplines with vastly different approaches and so taking a more focused look at field can really help those considering healthcare careers. As, each different career in psychology will have specific requirements to enter the workforce.
During a basic psychology program learners can expect to receive instruction on problem-solving techniques, analytical skills and research methodologies. They will also learn about data, statistics and how to use this information technology to access and manipulate numerical measures. Psychology students will be educated on best written and verbal communication practices, and will be specifically required to achieve goals while working in teams. Together, these skills help learners become knowledgeable, well-rounded psychology professionals, regardless of the specialty they choose to enter next.
“Experience and breadth of knowledge can be very helpful in establishing a psychology career and the further you are from the ‘average’ psychology professional the better,” Silverstein stressed.
Careers in Healthcare That Utilize Psychology Degrees:
An Art Therapist is a master’s level clinician who practices in the realm of behavioral health. Art Therapists work with all types of patients and use the creative process to make art and as a result help resolve or improve a wide variety of mental health conditions. Often the artwork produced serves as a therapeutic and healing process in itself. Yet, before an Art Therapist can determine directives, they must first understand a patient’s current state. Once their present condition is known, art therapy will integrates the fields of human development, visual arts and the creative process to complete counseling and psychotherapy. Art therapy is now practiced in a large number of settings which reflects the strong career opportunities to come.
A Counselor is responsible for providing treatment and support to patients experiencing a variety of mental or behavioral conditions. Note that Counselors more specifically work with patients who have mental health problems rather than severe mental illnesses.To improve upon these conditions, Counselors will first complete initial evaluations and determine goals, develop treatment plans and engage with patients to put these plans into action. These professionals may then choose to provide counseling services within an individual, family, couple or group settings. As a Counselor, these psychology professionals have access to a broader range of potential models for problem-solving.
A Psychologist is a healthcare professional with specific training based on clinical psychological research into human behavior. This training enables a Psychologist to evaluate and assess a patient’s cognitive, emotional, social behaviors and processes in an attempt to understand their thoughts and feelings. Furthermore, to reach clinical conclusions, Psychologists will often rely on controlled experiments, psychotherapy or psychoanalysis and are also frequently involved in research. They commonly treat patients who have either mild or severe psychological issues. Differentiating this career from that of a Psychiatrist, Psychologists are not able to write prescriptions, but may recommended a Family Physician or Psychiatrist in order to prescribe medications. Learn the difference between a Psychologist vs Psychiatrist.
A Rehabilitation Counselor is another psychology professional who is responsible for helping patients of all ages with developmental, physical, mental or emotional disabilities to live independent lives. Goals can include helping to find a patient employment, improving their social functioning, optimizing their well-being and enabling them to fulfill daily life skills. Rehabilitation Counselors seek to achieve these goals by providing individual and group counseling, along with evaluating patient abilities, life skills, health and other factors. They will also develop a treatment plan and arrange for any additional patient services needed (psychiatry, physical therapy, etc.). In doing this, they are additionally responsible for evaluating a patient’s medical and other health reports, and conferring with other professionals to note their limitations.
A Health Educator is responsible for teaching people how to live in a way that promotes overall wellness. In accomplishing this, these professionals will assess the health needs of individuals and larger communities, develop educational materials, evaluate program effectiveness and assist people in locating needed health services or information. Health Educators will also teach people how to best manage existing conditions and will advocate for improved health resources and policies. Acquiring resources often involves applying for grants, designing materials for the public and writing class curriculum. In order to teach others, Health Educators must understand basic human behaviors to understand learning principles. Governments and hospitals employ the majority of healthcare educators, as they help educate patients and staff, as well as run a variety of programs.
A Music Therapist is an psychology professional who works with a variety of patients to improve mental health outcomes through individualized, clinical and evidence-based treatment plans. These plans may include specific therapies such as listening to music, playing music or even creating music. Note that a patient does not have to have some particular music ability to benefit from music therapy. Patients who seek music therapy can be young or old and may have a range of conditions like Alzheimer’s, developmental delays, mental illness, chronic diseases, long-standing pain, etc. Overall, music therapy is a means of communication to help those with difficulty expressing themselves do so — and, the therapy can also be a lot of fun!
Social work is a broadly defined psychology profession within itself. The definition of a Social Worker is a healthcare professional who seeks to help identify people and communities in need of assistance. Their needs can range from mental to emotional to behavioral issues. Ultimately, a Social Worker will assess patient needs, strengths, their situation and support networks available to determine goals to help them cope with and solve everyday problems. To reach successful outcomes, Social may research community resources to refer their patients to, advocate for additional resources, provide psychotherapy services and develop and evaluate programs and services. Accomplishing administrative duties and completing paperwork are other requirements of Social Workers.
Additional Psychology Careers
Alternative careers in psychology include Sport and Exercise Psychologist, Neuropsychologist, Environmental Psychologist, Crisis Counselor, School Psychologist, Forensic Psychologist, Family and Marriage Therapist, Life Coach, Occupational Psychologist and more. Learn about other mental health careers today!