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  1. #21
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silveresque View Post
    I'm thinking of majoring in psychology and becoming a clinical psychologist (or some type of counselor, I haven't decided what exactly I want to do), but I don't know if this is the right field for me. What if I do all that work to get my Master's or Phd and find that I hate it? I mean, I love studying psychology, but what if I don't like the actual practice? Being a counselor would mean that I work with patients everyday, and I'm not exactly a people person. I can get along with anyone, but I'm so introverted that I don't really enjoy socializing and need a lot of alone time.

    I guess what I'm asking is, what characteristics does it take to be a counselor/psychologist? I need to know if I'm suited for this type of career. Will I not like it if I don't particularly like socializing/interacting with people? Are there ways I could make it work for me?
    I believe that the best counsellors combine introspection and the ability to combine self-insight, self-reflection and self-awareness with, for the time that they are in direct personal contact with someone, the soft skills or interpersonal skills but that's an important point, it is only for the perhaps hour or more than you will spend in direct contact with somene that you need to be a "people person" and depending upon your discipline your analytical skills could be more important.

    In a clinical psychological job I think you would have a lot of assessment, the collating of seperate information, maybe face to face contacts aswell but I've known clinical psychologists to be commissioned to produce reports only in which case, as I say, they take the seperate submissions which are made to them and with the specialist knowledge available to them from their training draw conclusions on the basis of that evidence.

    The fact that you're even asking these sorts of questions I think is a good sign and probably a clue that you'd be well suited, the amount of people who I've encountered in posts of a similar kind and I've wondered "how did you get here?", "how did you not know that this job would involve something you appear to hate?", its a little like someone becoming a fire man who has a chronic aversion to fire but it is something which I see again and again. There are two things which I think contribute to it, firstly, the suspiscion on everyones part that everyday ordinary skills are sufficient to the tasks involved in the role and that there's just a hell of a lot of intellectual camoflaging of that, secondly, it would appear to be an easily accessed profession, as opposed to law, medicine, science research, with the money and status which accompanies it.

    The question about whether or not having an interest or inclination towards reading about something makes for that being your actual line of work is a good question too, I've heard lots of people say that you should do what you are, as in if you would naturally read or do such things then getting paid for it is a bonus, that is true to a certain extent but there will be days, be prepared for this if you make the decision to opt for it, that you're sick of what once interested you and you need to develop completely new and seperate interests from work altogether.

    Finally, I would recommend this kind of profession, I think its very personally rewarding and interesting but there is a throw away line in one of the episodes of Hannibal about people in psychology departments being a bunch of psychological deficients (while he takes pride in being a psychopath Hannibal is probably talking about himself in this respect too) which has a grain of truth in it.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by LEGERdeMAIN View Post
    I'm not, but I wanted to mention that most of the psychologists/psychiatrists I know are quick to dismiss typology as (mostly)useless rubbish. Some didn't even give reasons for why they were uninterested in the subject, as if I had asked if they thought the earth were flat. I completely understand their point-of-view, although I do appreciate imaginative models of the psyche. I would be surprised to find out that any regulars here were psychologists and believed that MBTI or other systems were accurate or useful enough to take into consideration in their careers.

    You could always do some kind of research, rather than counseling. I was a psychology major(briefly), but decided against it. At the time I was interested in working at a university, conducting research. A psychology degree also has uses in the business world, sports, law enforcement, etc, etc. You're certainly not limited to mental institutes and private practices.
    Most of them I've talked to about it would say that MBTI is at the popular magazine survey quiz end of the market and not associate themselves with it.

    Although I would say that I agree with your idea that imaginative models of the psyche are important and can serve a purpose, I read a good book about Freud which suggested that when he developed the ideas of the id, ego and superego that there were mistranslations and misunderstandings and he was using popular phrases, almost childish ones about the me, big me, over me and also that his use of greek myths, oedipis (spelling) for instance, was meant to be a link to popular story telling but in their transfer to the west and the audience which took them up they became completely intellectualised. However, the popular sense idea makes it easier to understand how there was any rapor between Freud and Jung at all, Jung's theory of archetypes seems like a better version of an imaginative model of the psyche, more dynamic and linked with past, present and future.

    There are big divisions in theory between these schools of thought, even referencing the books from the recent past when practitioners were not quite so eclectic, although in practice I find that most practitioners are now only applying cognitive behaviour therapy anyway.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xisnotx View Post
    I read somewhere that something around 1 in 5 psych majors don't have a job 6 months after graduation.
    There'd have been a time I'd have considered that a shocking statistic but to be honest, these days, I dont think that's unrealistic, there's not a lot of cyclical movement in those professions, you can see one year a large amount of recruitment to the posts but then maybe nothing like that recruitment until all those candidates/practitioners retire years and years later.

    In some instances were there is a high turn over and lots of recruitment that can be a sign that the employer doesnt care very much about the retention of staff, and with that retention the skills, experience and further training that those individuals have had in the mean time, which can be a bad sign. If you sign on with a service like that they could be using you like a battery, expose you to a lot of destructive stuff and toss you aside afterwards like a used battery, then repeating the process again. There's even some individuals complicit in operational or business cultures like that who will boast about their survival to the point of promotion in order to better administer it rather than challenge it, that sort of toxic managerialism I reckon crosses over into Solitary Walkers thread about "choosing to be a psychopath".

    So yeah, exercise care about jumping at the first opportunities for work that arise or appear.

  4. #24
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    Psychology has a problem. It claims to be a science but doesn't have a Periodic Table like Chemistry, and it doesn't have a Natural Selection like Biology, and it doesn't have a Quantum Mechanics like Physics, or a Relativity like Astronomy.

    So we can say there is no scienfic basis for psychology as there is a scientic basis for Chemisty, Biology, Phsics and Astronomy.

    Psychology means the study of the psyche, and psyche means soul. So psychology is the study of the soul. So psychology may have more in common with religion than science.

  5. #25
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    ^ Don't sign up for college courses in psych, @Mole, you'll be dismayed by Research Methods, Neuroscience, Abnormal, and any hardlining science-oriented profs you meet along the way. I've been over experimental design and "correlation does not imply causation" more times than I can count. True that psych is not always a hard science, but sometimes it is. Counseling, I think, is more of an art.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by xisnotx View Post
    I read somewhere that something around 1 in 5 psych majors don't have a job 6 months after graduation.
    There'd have been a time I'd have considered that a shocking statistic but to be honest, these days, I dont think that's unrealistic, there's not a lot of cyclical movement in those professions, you can see one year a large amount of recruitment to the posts but then maybe nothing like that recruitment until all those candidates/practitioners retire years and years later.
    Honestly, I'd be surprised if it wasn't way higher than that. There aren't exactly myriad options for a recent grad with a bachelor's in psych.

    I also think that there is a huge difference between the students who are psych majors and the students who are PSYCH MAJORS, if you understand what I mean - those kids who are REALLY INTO PSYCH and do psych club and become officers in the psych honor society and do lots of research and take on several internships and develop close relationships with their professors and get glowing recommendations and 4.0 major GPAs and so on. I think most of those kids go right into grad school to become counselors, clinicians, or researchers. I do know some people who did get career employment straight out of undergrad - a case manager, many teachers, an academic enrichment specialist, staff at a nonprofit home for abused children, a shelter manager.

    But psych is a notoriously popular major, and I think it draws a lot of otherwise-undecided students because it sits at a nice midline between the hard sciences and the humanities, it's fairly useful in any future endeavor, and it typically doesn't have incredibly extensive prereqs and labs and maths. For someone who hasn't figured out their career path by the time they need to select a major, it's a sensible choice especially when looking at flexibility down the road, as it's a reasonably useful precursor to management, social work, teaching, allied health, HR, admin, marketing/advertising, sales, criminal justice, and law. My guess is the majority of psych majors 6 months out of school are working on their next path, whatever that may be. For many of us, college was a lot more about learning how to live than about learning our careers. I wouldn't have necessarily chosen it that way, but I don't regret how things have unfolded.

  6. #26
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    So if Psychology is more like a religion than a science, what is the core business of religion?

    The core business of religion is entrancement.

    And different religions induct us into different trances.

    So to study religion we need to study trances.

    And in particular we need to learn to design particular trances for particular purposes.

    If this is true, then psychology stops pretending to be a science and becomes a craft - the crafting of trance for particular purposes.

    The best psychologists know this instinctively while the others are trying to raise the status of psychology into a science.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    True that psych is not always a hard science, but sometimes it is.
    We might just as well say Chemistry is not a hard science but sometimes it is.

    Or we might say Botany is not a hard science but sometimes it is.

    Or say Physics is not a hard science but sometimes it is.

    Or we might even say Astronomy is not a hard science but sometimes it is.

    But that would be silly, wouldn't it?

    And it is equally silly to say Psychology is a hard science and sometime it isn't.

    It shows how confused Psychology is, down to its very roots.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    We might just as well say Chemistry is not a hard science but sometimes it is.

    Or we might say Botany is not a hard science but sometimes it is.

    Or say Physics is not a hard science but sometimes it is.

    Or we might even say Astronomy is not a hard science but sometimes it is.

    But that would be silly, wouldn't it?

    And it is equally silly to say Psychology is a hard science and sometime it isn't.

    It shows how confused Psychology is, down to its very roots.
    When you solve the mind-body problem, let psychology know, from Plato to Descartes on down.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    When you solve the mind-body problem, let psychology know, from Plato to Descartes on down.
    Exactly, Psychology has no claim to be a science.

  10. #30
    Senior Member Scheherezade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    Exactly, Psychology has no claim to be a science.
    "Psychology is an academic and applied discipline that involves the scientific study of mental functions and behaviors.[1][2] Psychology has the immediate goal of understanding individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases,[3][4] and by many accounts it ultimately aims to benefit society.[5][6] In this field, a professional practitioner or researcher is called a psychologist and can be classified as a social, behavioral, or cognitive scientist. Psychologists attempt to understand the role of mental functions in individual and social behavior, while also exploring the physiological and neurobiological processes that underlie certain cognitive functions and behaviors."

    you can scientifically study almost everything, even religion

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