People often picture psychologists as people who sit in cosy offices and administer therapy. While this is true, there are counselling psychologists, but this is not all they do. Psychologists are innovators; they are consistently evolving to match the needs of people. They are testing different theories and applying them to their fieldwork.
Psychology itself is a very varied field. Psychologists can conduct applied research and work as consultants to communities. They can also work in the health sector and diagnose and treat people. Some psychologists work in forensics and aid investigators in finding a probable cause of the crime.
Some work with the law and order agencies and help investigators carry out interrogations. These are just a few examples highlighting a psychologist’s various roles. However, most of their work revolves around destigmatizing mental health issues. Here is a deeper dive into what psychologists do and how does it impact mental health:
Clinical psychologists generally work in clinical settings to evaluate the patients who come to them for help. A clinical psychologist assesses and notes how severe a patient’s mental health status is in these cases. Once they know what their treatment looks like, they may develop a treatment that includes psychotherapy. The clinical setting where these experts thrive can be hospitals, mental health clinics, or work completely alone. Which means they may run their practice. Some clinical psychologists also go for specialization such as adult mental health. However, due to the lack of their medical degree, they can’t prescribe medication.
Forensic psychologists focus on the relationship between psychology and the law with the help of their online forensic psychology degree, which helps them narrow it down. Online degrees such as this one prepare them how to approach convicted criminals and evaluate them. Since it’s a well-structured program, it may involve acting as a consultant for different criminal cases, resolving disputes between families, and even considering child custody options. Through a series of tests, they determine whether the offender is fit to go to court for their trial. If they’re not, a forensic psychologist intervenes in courts and immediately works on getting the offender to a facility. They work on their mental health, such as depression, anxiety, and extreme cases such as bipolar. Since psychologists cannot prescribe medicines, they collaborate with psychiatrists to get a medicinal treatment started.
Usually, people with profound mental health issues have trouble connecting their thoughts. They may either overthink a situation or overreact in a crisis. Such as people with cases of paranoia may harm themselves during a paranoid episode. They are unable to make out a delusional thought from a realistic one rationally. In such cases, cognitive psychologists come into the picture. These psychologists study the brain’s processes to learn how the patient’s mind works and administer care. Psychologists subject them to therapy sessions such as cognitive behaviour therapy. Which involves helping the patient rationalize their thoughts into action. Most of the work these psychologists do is long-term. They also work in different settings such as universities, hospitals, and research centres.
These psychologists work with knowledge from different subjects such as biology, social groups, and mental illnesses. Their purpose is to help clients maximize their well-being in both psychological and physical capacity. When patients come to them for help, they evaluate how their mental health is seeping into their physical well-being. They also study how such patients may feel alienated from society that causes an acceleration in their mental health deteriorating. Once they have their analysis, they begin work. These professionals may perform clinical work where they treat clients after a proper assessment. These experts may use psychotherapy and a series of psychological tests to help the patient. In addition to these methods, they also educate the patient about their mental well-being and teach them coping strategies.
Bio psychologists study and research the brain to deduce an accurate hypothesis where there is a problem in the brain giving rise to different issues. Their study area is more in-depth and often involves scanning or studying the brain by exposing patients to different scenarios. They are most important for psychology since they publish authentic papers about their findings. Suppose they want to explore a patient with depression. They may attach electrodes and study how a patient’s brain responds to different activities. They also carry out MRI to determine what area of the brain has a severe impact to cause an onset of other conditions. It helps them decide if it’s a problem with the brain’s neurotransmitters or a condition since birth. After which, they can prescribe the relevant treatment course.
Consumer psychologists study behaviour and develop strategies to promote businesses through marketing techniques. They are involved in helping investors better understand what makes consumers purchase products and why they do. They examine the trends for how buyers respond to marketing alerts, analyze decision-making strategies, and investigate the role that emotions play in purchasing choices.
They study workplace behaviour, such as recruiting or placing the best employees for specific tasks and increasing their productivity levels. They also design assessments to screen candidates for specific job roles. They further assess businesses, look for new ways to lower costs, and improve efficiency, and increase employee satisfaction and retention.
Mental health issues can strike at any time, including in students. Students are under tremendous pressure often. This pressure gets to them and makes them seek an outlet. Some students start abusing substances, while some get severe mental health issues. In such cases, it is the educational psychologist to intervene. While they administer care to students, they also study where there is a hindrance in their education. When they can evaluate the causes, they can help students either through counselling them or connecting them to psychiatrists.
They also work with students who have learning disabilities and help them find techniques to study. They also keep the school board informed so that it can help facilitate a child’s learning more. When a psychologist thinks a student needs time off and seeks better, long-term care, they can make a formal report and get the school and parents on board.
They study the behaviour of flight crew members and pilots. Aviation psychologists also deploy research on airlines’ safety measures, participate in training and development of staff, and help recruit suitable employees.
For example, an aviation psychologist might screen psychological tests for pilot positions and utilize their expertise to ensure that only the best people are chosen for these critical roles.
Counselling is different from therapy though there may be areas where both fields coincide. Counsellors are interested in helping patients achieve their short-term goals instead of extensive counselling sessions. Patients with different mental health issues visit these psychologists, such as anger management, PTSD, and anxiety. When a patient books a session, a counsellor first tries to get to the root of the problem. That is why the patient may feel they have depression and what leads to these symptoms.
When these counsellors have an understanding, they then start treatment. Treatment includes helping the patient connect the dots about their mental health by leading the conversation to the cause of the problem. When a patient knows and understands what they’re feeling a certain way, a counsellor administers treatment. These can be psychotherapy, cognitive behaviour therapy, and coping mechanisms. Patients seeking long-term care may need more than a holistic approach to treatment. For them, they are more suited to see a therapist or a psychiatrist.
Psychologists are not professionals glued to a seat and talk to you from across their office. There are many different kinds of psychologists with varying tasks, but they mutually contribute to mental health. To name a few fields, you can get into clinical psychology, forensic psychology, or educational psychology. Since psychologists don’t have a medical license, they can’t write prescriptions. Still, they are qualified to work with mental health patients. Their treatment route includes behavioural therapy, cognitive therapy, and psychotherapy. In cases where the conditions go beyond mental health, they can also study the brain to deduce the cause and possible treatment course.