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Is it difficult to find jobs in Psychiatric Psychology?

I love the idea of working with the mentally insane, but is this career too unrealistic? #psychology #clinical-psychology #psychotherapy #neuropsychology #neuro #psychologists #insane #mentally

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Tamara’s Answer

Hi Victoria!

Pursuing a career in mental health can be extremely rewarding and meaningful. It is by no means an unrealistic career choice. You must first decide whether you would like to become a Psychiatrist or a Psychologist, and what population you would like to work with. Psychiatrists have much more school time, as they attend medical school, whereas a Psychologist has less school time. Also, Psychiatrists are able to write prescriptions for their patients, and Psychologists cannot (not in a majority of states). Deciding how much school time you are comfortable doing, how much you're willing to invest financially and mentally, and which population (children, the elderly, veterans, forensics, psychoanalysis, etc.). Check out the link I have included for a bit more information on the differences. If you have further questions, please feel free to reach out. Lastly, be careful using the term "mentally insane", as it is not highly favored in the field.


Best of luck Victoria!!

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Dr. Ray’s Answer

Dear Victoria,

I think your goal is a very reasonable one; careers in the mental health field are quite popular. However it takes a lot of education to work professionally in the field, a master's degree at a minimum. I agree with Tamara's comments that psychiatry and psychology are different fields with very different career paths, specifically medical school or a doctoral program in psychology. However there are many jobs available for people with master's degrees in counseling, social work, psychology, nursing etc.

You might want to contact colleges in your area with psychology departments to find our more about the field and what courses are needed.

Whatever your final choices I wish you luck in your career pursuits.

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Linda Ann’s Answer

I too support the commentary of the two previous posts. To find out more about the field of psychology, I would recommend "poking around" at one of the professional society's websites: The American Psychological Association (www.apa.org) or the Association for Psychological Science (http://www.psychologicalscience.org).

If you are interested in counseling, there are many master's level program that can prepare you to obtain the "Licensed Professional Counselor" (LPC) credential. The LPC credential is a valuable one for those persons who do not wish to pursue a doctoral degree in psychology, which typically takes 5-to-6 years for completion. There is a licensing examination associated with the LPC credential. Each state regulates the coursework and supervised counseling done before someone can obtain that credential. The American Counseling Association is a good resource: www.counseling.org. You can find information on the requirements, by state, from their website on the LPC credential: http://www.counseling.org/knowledge-center/licensure-requirements/state-professional-counselor-licensure-boards

I wish you the best in your future career!!