5 Areas to Consider When Looking at a Career in Psychology

Sports Psychology – Sports psychology involves looking at how psychology influences sports performance, exercise, and activity. Sports psychologists work in several areas, including research, schools, and professional athletes. They can work for an entire team addressing problems and developing solutions that allow them to play better as a team. Sports psychologists also work a lot with individual athletes to help them perform better by addressing some of the problems they may be personally facing.

Sports psychologists also do a lot of research on athletes, athletic performance, and team performance from small children up through professionals. This research provides a better understanding of the mental and emotional factors that impact performance, but also how that understanding can be used to improve performance. There are many options for an online sports psychology degree that enable people already working in sports to expand their expertise. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – This is what many people will likely think of when they think about going to see a counselor. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a short-term therapy designed to address specific problems. The goal of this therapy is to find and exercise solutions to perceived problems, so therapy is not needed ongoing long-term. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is used when patients are suffering from situational anxiety and fear. For example, you can work through a fear of public speaking or a fear of flying. You can learn how to overcome your fears or work your way through a panic attack. This type of therapy can teach young people how to manage stress and how to protect themselves mentally and emotionally when dealing with instability at home or in school. cognitive behavioral therapy for children is often utilized when children are struggling to adjust in social situations. 

Clinical Psychology – Clinical psychology is the second type of psychology people think of when they think about going to a psychologist. It is the exploration of thoughts and emotions as a means of understanding and preventing ongoing distress. Clinical psychologists often help people work through traumatic events or ongoing trauma from childhood.

While it may be easy for someone that did not grow up with trauma to think people need to “grow up” or “get over” childhood trauma, that is not as possible as it may sound. Childhood trauma changes the way people think and process emotions as an adult. Many do not even realize the extent to which their childhood trauma impacted how they act like adults.

Forensic PsychologyForensic psychology is a combination of investigation and psychological understanding and application. While popular television shows like Criminal Minds have made forensic psychology seem like a very glamorous profession, it is really like many other areas of psychology. It involves a great deal of study and research. As a forensic psychologist, you may be researching criminals and criminal activity to gain a better understanding of what leads to an individual or group participating in illegal activity.

You may also be working with law enforcement to utilize what you know about criminal behavior based on the research and theories to help investigate crimes. Forensic psychologists may also be used throughout trials to better understand the person being accused and to determine if they did the crime and what their motives may have been.

Social Psychology – Social psychology is the study of communities and interactions between people and groups of people. It is a researched-based area of psychology, and social psychologists often divide their time between conducting research to better understand human behavior within groups and settings and teaches psychology at a collegiate level. As a social psychologist, you may take the opportunity to travel to other countries and study indigenous cultures. These types of jobs are funded by grants, universities, and research foundations.

Regardless of the field of psychology you choose, you can anticipate a great deal of reading, research, and writing while learning about psychology and working in the field of psychology.

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