Psychology Programs

There are Many Different Types of Psychology Programs

General psychology programs prepare students for careers that are extraordinarily diverse with numerous career paths. A psychologist studies mental processes and human behavior. Degrees in general psychology build a foundation for a wide range of specialty areas including animal research and organizational behavior.

Techniques used in a psychologist’s methodology are:

  1. Observation
  2. Assessment
  3. Experimentation

Psychologists aim to comprehend and rationalize thoughts, emotions, feelings or behavior of their subjects. Research findings have greatly increased the perception of why people and animals behave as they do. Psychological studies help people function better as individuals, friends, family and workers.

Types of psychologists

There are three different areas in which all fields of general psychology programs typically fall:

  1. Applied Psychology: uses research and psychological principles to address problems facing the world today
  2. Research Psychology: conducts experiments and studies on both animals and humans
  3. Mental Health Psychology: works with people who are in psychological distress or have mental disorders

The American Psychological Association, or APA, recognizes the following specialized occupations within psychology:

Clinical psychologists assess and treat mental illness, abnormal behavior and psychiatric problems. Cognitive psychologists study mental processes including how people think, perceive, remember and learn. Counseling psychologists provide therapeutic treatments to clients who have a range of symptoms like depression or alcoholism. Experimental psychologists utilize scientific methods to research the mind and behavior. Forensic psychologists combine psychology and the law. School psychologists bring together parents, teachers and students to promote a healthy learning environment.

The difference between general psychology and psychiatry

The educational requirements for a psychiatrist are much different from the educational requirements for a psychologist. Psychiatrists have a medical degree(Medical Doctor), while psychologists have a psychology degree at the doctoral level. Psychiatrists may dispense medication to patients where psychologists cannot. So both are advanced degrees, as you can see from reading how to become a psychologist.

Degrees in general psychology

The APA recognizes psychologists with a doctoral degree in psychology from a regionally accredited university or professional school. A bachelor’s degree in psychology permits graduates to help psychologists and other mental health professionals. Some courses taken at the undergraduate level include:

  • Developmental Psychology
  • Sensation and Perception
  • Principles of Behavior
  • Social Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Physiological Psychology

At the master’s degree level, students specialize in their field of study. They may work in subfields such as social work or clinical psychology. They may also assist wih research as long as they are supervised by a psychologist.

Doctoral programs in psychology increase the value of a master’s degree. A doctoral degree is required to open or work in a psychology practice. A psychologist with either a Psy.D or Ph.D may enter into research, teaching, counseling or clinical positions in various facilities such as universities, hospitals, elementary and high schools, private business and government. There are some substantial differences when you read through the PsyD Vs PhD programs. The American Psychological Association provides accreditation for doctoral level programs in school psychology, clinical psychology, counseling, and universities that provide students with internships.

Job outlook in psychology

Psychologists have a projected employment growth rate of 12 percent. Those with specialty training within psychology could find rapidly expanding opportunities as increasing demand is expected. School psychologists for example could find abundant job opportunities during the next decade. The mean annual psychologist salary in 2015 were $72,580.

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