How To Specialize in Psychology

So, you've decided to enter psychology school next term?  Did you know that you can now pursue these degrees online? Upon entering, you'll notice that your psychology program provides several paths you can choose from, given the many available fields of specialization in the area of psychology.  This branch of science is very much like medicine where one practitioner can focus on a certain kind of practice different from the others.  If you're having a hard time choosing which path to take, simply read some of the categories you can focus on with your psychology degree.

  • Counseling Psychology. Counseling is probably one of the more famous specializations in psychology given its wide exposure in pop culture. Most therapists cited in these pop culture references are actually counseling psychologists, because they are the ones that provide one-on-one treatments to patients suffering from psychological stress or trauma. The forte of the counseling psychologist is conversation and analysis of certain causes of a person's behavior.
  • Clinical Psychology. Clinical psychology deals with the psychoanalysis of the human mind. It is similar in approach to counseling psychology in that it analyzes the possible causes of human behavior. However, the approach to clinical psychology is more scientific due to the use of various experiments to persons involved and observation of their actions and reactions to different stimuli.
  • Industrial Psychology. This is usually the field of specialization of human resource managers. Industrial psychologists are often work to screen interested applicants in a company. They are also in charge of keeping the sanity and mental well-being of employees in check.
  • Educational Psychology. People who have studied educational psychology usually work in the education system. Educational psychology is concerned with the analysis of children's and adult's behavior within educational institutions.
  • Cognitive Psychology. Cognitive psychology falls under the psychological school of thought known as cognitivism. It mainly deals with the various mental processes such as memory, understanding and information processing and discovering the different reasons for an individual's behavior.
  • Social Psychology. While psychology is concerned in understanding an individual's behaviors, this branch of psychology tackles the many intricacies of the way people interact with each other. While similar to a field of study known as sociology, social psychology differs in its approach because its unit of analysis is the individual.
  • Forensic Psychology. This field of psychology deals with the interaction between psychology and the criminal justice system. Usually, forensic psychologists are called out to testify in court proceedings and translate psychological jargon into legal language in order for judges and lawyers to better understand complex human mental processes.

The fields of specialization available to you depend largely on the psychology school you choose, because not every school may carry them.  Look through different schools online - and different online schools - to see what electives they offer, so that you can pursue your chosen field in a school that carries it.


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