Have you ever wondered why people act, react and interact the way they in certain situations? Do you also believe that you get people to do things differently by changing their behaviours, mindset, outlook on life and attitudes. Well, these are just some of the things which psychologists do through their work, their research and their interviews, surveys and interactions with people. It is important not to get psychologists confused with psychiatrists, who are medically trained doctors who specialise in human mental disorders. What the work involves At some time during the workday, a psychologist may:
- Diagnose and treat mental and/or emotional disorders.
- Offer counselling to clients.
- Discuss the treatment of problems with their clients.
- Use psychological means such as psychotherapy, in treating patients.
- Consult with other peers and professionals.
- Help to develop programmes to improve how education is delivered in the classroom or how employees are dealt with in workplaces.
- Write articles, research papers and reports to share findings and educate others.
- Do research to learn and stay current on new work by other researchers on behaviour, which they will use in their treatment methods.
Psychologists work with clients across all age groups and backgrounds, dealing with problems such as depression and anxiety, addictive behaviours, eating disorders, personal and family relationship problems and learning disabilities.
Depending on the area of studies, psychologists will find work in areas such as public hospitals, institutions dealing with family and counselling services, and also in the areas of sports, industry, business settings or human resources offices. Many also work in schools and private practice.
Who is this career for?
Persons in this career will need very good analytical, observing and problem-solving skills. Additionally, because they will spend a great deal of time communicating with their clients and their peers, good communication ability and patience become important. They must also be confidential, trustworthy and sensitive, as information shared with them is confidential.
What can I earn?
Your earnings will depend on the place of employment. Persons in private practice will earn more than those in government institutions and agencies.
How do I qualify?
Master’s and doctoral degrees will get you moving up in this profession and also to do clinical and research work. You can gain more information and guidance from the Jamaica Psychological Association. at www.jampsych.com or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who offers training in Jamaica?
- The University of the West Indies
- Northern Caribbean University
- The Caribbean Graduate School of Theology
- The International University of the Caribbean
- The Jamaican Psychological Association offers short courses and some other tertiary institutions including some community colleges offer related programmes. Send us your comments and suggestions on what you want to know more about.
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Angela deFreitas is general manager of CHOICES Career& Education Advice.