Psychology in the USA
The human brain is a fascinating organ. Though we've chipped away at some of its secrets over the years, it remains our most mysterious body part. It is psychologists who have made the biggest leaps in understanding concerning the brain and we predict it will be psychologists who finally unlock all of its secrets. Many people have very little understanding of who psychologists are and what they do. This website aims to help everyone come to a broader understanding of psychologists and psychology, so browse through and see what you can learn. Who knows - you may even decide you want to become one yourself.
Psychology courses are available at the university level to anyone, whether one is majoring in the subject or not, and many people take it simply to fill out their course load, but then discover that it's quite interesting. A first-year psych course only scratches the surface of the subject matter, but what you learn can be useful in your later occupation, whether you end up in sales and marketing, a professional field such as accounting or dentistry, or in any role where you interact with customers or co-workers. So says Dr. Saveet Mangat of Pinegove Dental, from her experience as a family dentist.
The most fundamental misunderstanding concerning psychologists is that they are often confused with psychiatrists, who are medical doctors who diagnose mental disorders and treat them with drug therapies. Psychologists, on the other hand, study the brain and its many disorders. Some psychologists, called clinical psychologists, do treat patients, but using treatments such as talk therapy, desensitization, or even shock therapy rather than drugs that aim to change the patient's brain chemistry. Psychologists have studied psychology, which is a scientific discipline, in university, while psychiatrists have studied medicine.
So what do psychologists do? There are several different ways for a psychologist to make a living on his or her skills. Clinical psychologists or counselors work with patients in clinics or schools to help them deal with issues like post traumatic stress or peer pressure. Psychologists can help students decide what to do with their lives, help them figure out their feelings, solve issues between couples, families, or friends, or use non-drug therapies to help patients overcome phobias or deal with mental illnesses like anorexia, drug addictions, or depression. This is by far the largest branch of psychology, incorporating about 88% of graduates.
The clinical psychologists are operating on the theories and discoveries of their comrades in academic psychology, who make up about 2% of psychologists. These are the psychologists who do research. They conduct studies, compile statistics, invent treatments, test them, and teach the new generation of psychologists in universities and colleges. About 10% of these psychology graduates will become organizational psychologists, who take the skills and theories they have learned and apply it to problems or potential problems in government and business to help make everyone happier and more efficient.
Do you think you might like to become a psychologist? Your first step is, of course, to do well in high school, especially in sciences. You can take psychology as a major during your bachelor degree but you can't expect to make a living as a psychologist until you have reached the PhD level. Most other psychology graduates end up in other fields, moving on to medicine or law for their post-graduate work. You can learn more about what it takes to become a psychologist, the types of jobs you might be doing in that field, and some of the biggest theories and triumphs of modern psychology in our articles, which can be accessed through the navigation bar at the top of the page.