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  1. #1
    Senior Member Silveresque's Avatar
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    Default Any psychologists around here?

    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?

  2. #2
    Senior Member LEGERdeMAIN's Avatar
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    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.
    Last edited by LEGERdeMAIN; 02-14-2012 at 03:39 PM. Reason: also...
    “Some people will tell you that slow is good – but I’m here to tell you that fast is better. I’ve always believed this, in spite of the trouble it’s caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba…”


  3. #3
    Twerking & Lurking ayoitsStepho's Avatar
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    Hey there Rev! I'm not a psychologist but I am a sophmore majoring in psychology (attempting to become an art therapist). I think when it comes to the practice of psychology (in clinical terms), there's a format that you use to help diagnose or help patients that are needing it. I don't believe there's a whole lot of coming up with small talk when speaking to patients. It could be different but I did watch a counselor for a while and he had specific questions he'd ask, different topics he'd speak on before the other person ever came in. So no, I don't personally think you have to be a social butterfly to succeed in a psychological field. It's more about having a desire to help people and understand the human mind.

    I hope this helps you in some way. If we have other psychologists I'm sure they could give you way more information than I, but if you have questions that I think I could answer I'd love to help!
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  4. #4
    morose bourgeoisie
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    I would recommend these books

    http://www.amazon.com/Being-Therapis...9251797&sr=1-1

    http://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Perso...9251853&sr=1-1

    Carl Rogers and Alice Miller both have stated that empathic listening is more effective than any ‘school of thought’ for a therapist/counselor.

  5. #5
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    Hi, I perform my fair share of psychological research (industrial and organizational, management, cognitive/behavior modeling), though my degrees aren't in psychology.

    There are internships and shadowing opportunities abound in undergrad; I'd advise anyone of any major to look into them. They are how I found out that I hated electrical engineering.

    If you can get along with people one-on-one, I don't see the whole "socializing" thing being an issue. Actually listening to the damn patient is one of the best skills one can have; better if you can empathize with them. I know some very introverted psychologists.

    Quote Originally Posted by LEGERdeMAIN View Post
    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.
    From what I understand, most psychologists have moved on to trait-based theories, though there are MBTI practitioners out there who are psychologists--they're mostly of the organizational development and training sort, though.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Silveresque's Avatar
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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.
    To be honest, I'm not all that into the MBTI. Although I find it interesting, I don't have enough experience with it to really be able to apply it in a useful manner at this point. I do think that the enneagram could be useful for a counselor, though, since it seems more psychological in nature--at least in terms of explaining subconscious motivations.

    Quote Originally Posted by LEGERdeMAIN View Post
    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.
    I've thought about research psychology. I have no idea if it's something I would enjoy or be good at, but I guess I'll find out along the way.

    Quote Originally Posted by ayoitsStepho View Post
    Hey there Rev! I'm not a psychologist but I am a sophmore majoring in psychology (attempting to become an art therapist). I think when it comes to the practice of psychology (in clinical terms), there's a format that you use to help diagnose or help patients that are needing it. I don't believe there's a whole lot of coming up with small talk when speaking to patients. It could be different but I did watch a counselor for a while and he had specific questions he'd ask, different topics he'd speak on before the other person ever came in. So no, I don't personally think you have to be a social butterfly to succeed in a psychological field. It's more about having a desire to help people and understand the human mind.

    I hope this helps you in some way. If we have other psychologists I'm sure they could give you way more information than I, but if you have questions that I think I could answer I'd love to help!
    Thanks! That's kind of what I was hoping it would be like. I think I could do fine if I don't have to improvise all the time or do too much small talk. A format would certainly make it easier for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by nebbykoo View Post
    I would recommend these books

    http://www.amazon.com/Being-Therapis...9251797&sr=1-1

    http://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Perso...9251853&sr=1-1

    Carl Rogers and Alice Miller both have stated that empathic listening is more effective than any ‘school of thought’ for a therapist/counselor.
    Thanks, I check them out!

    Quote Originally Posted by bologna View Post
    Hi, I perform my fair share of psychological research (industrial and organizational, management, cognitive/behavior modeling), though my degrees aren't in psychology.

    There are internships and shadowing opportunities abound in undergrad; I'd advise anyone of any major to look into them. They are how I found out that I hated electrical engineering.

    If you can get along with people one-on-one, I don't see the whole "socializing" thing being an issue. Actually listening to the damn patient is one of the best skills one can have; better if you can empathize with them. I know some very introverted psychologists.
    Thanks for your input! I may have to work on the whole zoning out thing though...That's another thing that worries me. I can just picture myself listening to the patient, trying to process the implications of something he just told me, and then realizing he's still talking and I didn't catch a word of what he just said. :P

  7. #7
    Secret Sex Freak Hazashin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RevlisZero 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 know this doesn't help, but... I'm planning on majoring in psychology myself, whether it's clinical or academic. Also, you don't have to become a counselor if you're going into psychology, you can become a researcher.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RevlisZero View Post
    Thanks for your input! I may have to work on the whole zoning out thing though...That's another thing that worries me. I can just picture myself listening to the patient, trying to process the implications of something he just told me, and then realizing he's still talking and I didn't catch a word of what he just said. :P
    Man, that's just something that comes with practice. I'm sure you'd fare fine

  9. #9
    Senior Member Silveresque's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazashin View Post
    I know this doesn't help, but... I'm planning on majoring in psychology myself, whether it's clinical or academic. Also, you don't have to become a counselor if you're going into psychology, you can become a researcher.
    Cool! Good luck!

    It's a long and difficult path and a competitive field, but we can make it if we study hard and put our minds to it.

    Research psychology is always a possibility. I'll have to wait and see if it's something I like.

  10. #10
    Glycerine
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    I am pretty much done w/ my psych major.
    DO INTERNSHIPS
    GET RESEARCH EXPERIENCE

    If you wanna pursue clinical or academia, for the most part, you gotta get a PhD or PsyD.

    You could do research. Psychologists are used for policy making, marketing, behavioral detection, industrial organizational psychology, pretty much anywhere you have to take in the human/people factor (whether directly or indirectly). Most of the jobs are in the health psychology sector though. Be aware, that few people in psychology actually primarily do research because of funding. Many usually teach alongside their research.

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