Careers in Psychology

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In Psychology there are so many different careers that have gained my interest because I love learning how people function, behave, and how the brain works. The first career that truly gained my full interest is Neuropsychologist. Neuropsychologists are the ones that explore not only the brain system but they also explore behavior and the relationship between the two. This is something that interests me more than I can put into words. One of the reasons I have so much interest in this type of career is because I myself have fetal alcohol syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as well as learning disorder.

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Being able to study the cognitive functions of the brain such as attention, language and memory I believe will eventually help me to understand more of my disabilities and how to work past them. A Neuropsychologist is also able to evaluate people who have various types of nervous system disorders. They work closely with doctors including neurologists. Illnesses, injuries, and diseases of the brain and nervous system can affect the way a person feels, thinks, and behaves and some of the symptoms may call for a neuropsychologist. Those symptoms are memory difficulties, mood disturbances, learning difficulties as well as nervous system dysfunction. If other doctors are unable to identify the cause of a condition then they bring a neuropsychologist into help determine the diagnosis.

In order to become a Neuropsychologist you have to obtain many different skills such as reading comprehension, active listening, critical thinking, social perceptiveness, complex problem solving, writing, speaking, science, active learning, judgement and decision making, instructing, service orientation, learning strategies, monitoring, system analysis, systems evaluation, time management, coordination and persuasion. Each and every one of these skills is just as important as one or the other. By having all these skills it will help To become successful in helping your clients. There is a lot of education involved in becoming an aspiring neuropsychologist. The first step is to earn a bachelors degree which is four years long, after that you complete a masters degree of another two years, then the last and final step is to earn a PHD or PsyD which can take another two to four years.

So overall you are looking at spending 8-10 years in college if your heart is truly set on becoming a neuropsychologist. The duties and responsibilities of a neuropsychologist may vary depending on their specialties. Some Neuropsychologists, for instance work primarily as researchers. This might involve studying both healthy humans as well as animals, and those with brain injuries and or illnesses. Neuropsychologists might also work in clinical settings as well. This typically involves assessing and diagnosing patients. This can be done by observing symptoms and using sophisticated technology, such as brain scans. After successfully diagnosing a neurological problem, they can then often recommend a course of treatment which can include therapy, medication or even surgery. The neuropsychologists that are primarily concerned with research might work in private or government research facilities. Some universities might also hire these professionals to conduct research as well as teach a class or two. Clinical neuropsychologists might work in a number of different healthcare settings. This can include hospitals, clinics, and physicians offices. Some neuropsychologists might also choose to open private practices and treat patients in their offices or work as consultants.

The second career in Psychology which really grabbed my attention more and more as I researched it and read what they do is Rehabilitation Psychologists. Rehabilitation psychologists work with stroke and accident victims and people with mental retardation and those with developmental disabilities caused by conditions such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy and autism.

I once worked with a gentleman who had a severe case of cerebral palsy and could not do anything for himself. I was always helping him from the time he woke up in the morning to the time he laid down in bed at night. The sad thing is that from one day to the next I wasn’t sure if he was going to remember me or not. If he didn’t remember me then he would lock me out of his house and he wouldn’t let me back in so most of the time I had to crawl through a tiny window. I believe I would be very good as a Rehabilitation Psychologist for many different reasons. The first reason is that those with disabilities have a soft spot in my heart because I know what its like to be looked at differently for one and for two the willingness to work past the disability is outrageous. Some people with disabilities you cannot even tell they have one because they have learned how to work past it and not let it show.

This type of career works closely with public health programs to prevent disabilities including those caused by violence and substance abuse. Rehabilitiation Psychologists testify in court as expert witnesses about the causes and effects of a disability and a persons rehabilitation needs. Rehabilitation Psychologists are uniquely trained and specialized to engage in a broad range of activities including clinical practice, consultation, program development, service provision, and teaching and education training, amongst many others. I am always looking out for everyone else and trying to figure out how I can help them or do something for them to make their lives a little easier on them. In order to become a Rehabilitation Psychologist you need to have to same type of skills as you would if you were a Neuropsychologist as well as the same path of education. This goes for many of the careers in Psychology. As for where a Rehabilitation Psychologist can work, they can open up their own practices, work in healthcare facilities, or in government buildings.