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How do I become a psychologist?

How do I pursue a path in psychology?

What is the hardest part about being a psychologist?

How long will it take for me to be a certified psychologist?

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Subject: Career question for you

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John’s Answer

Emmalee the first step to becoming a psychologist is to earn a bachelor’s degree.
It can be in any subject, but it may be worth considering a major that lends itself to a career in psychology, such as social work, psychology or sociology. Then, you will want to decide if you want to earn a doctorate-level degree. The reason you should make a decision at this point is due to the fact that many programs do not offer a terminal master's degree in psychology. In such cases, you will enroll in a graduate program after earning your bachelor's degree and then spend four to seven years working on your doctorate. To become a certified psychologist, you will need an undergraduate degree (four to five years of college) plus a doctorate degree (four to seven years of graduate school). For this specialty area, most people will spend between eight to 12 years in higher education.

The biggest reward of being a psychologist is often the biggest challenge of being a psychologist – helping people overcome and deal with their mental and emotional struggles. The fact of the matter is, dealing other people's problems on a daily basis is difficult. Most of us have a hard enough time wrapping our mind around our own problems, let alone everyone elses. Psychologists have to learn how to help their clients find effective and productive methods for dealing with their struggles without taking them on themselves. Successful psychologists must learn to separate their work life and personal life and practice effective stress management techniques.

Hope this was helpful Emmalee
Thank you comment icon I will use this advice as I prepare for my career. Emmalee
Thank you comment icon A degree in psychology opens up opportunities to have a positive effect on a great many lives. Good Luck Emmalee John Frick
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Celine’s Answer

John makes great points, but I will say that many states, specifically California, allow master's level clinicians to practice psychotherapy without the need for a doctoral degree. It's important to narrow down what field of psychology specifically you're interested in, but if you're interested in the traditional psychotherapy and counseling, then you can practice in the state of California with a master's degree and accrue the hours to become a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) which is a nationally recognized credential that allows you to practice in your specific state. If you choose to go this route, you'd still have to obtain a bachelor's degree which is on average about 4 years, then your master's, which is about 2 years, and another 2 years of post-grad work where you're accruing hours to become licensed.

But just like John said, the hardest part of being a psychologist can be remembering to be a human being. Because of the nature of what we do, we're required to be self-aware and pack our own problems away because you don't want it to potentially interfere with the client's you're working with. Sometimes you'll be put in ethical dilemmas and situations where there really is no right answer, so you'll have to use what they refer to as your "clinical judgment." It can be a tough field to work in, but it's also extremely rewarding and you'll definitely learn a lot if you choose to go down this path. Best wishes!
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Celine for the advice. Emmalee
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Acacia’s Answer

To become a clinical psychologist, you will need an undergraduate degree (four to five years of college) plus a doctorate degree (four to seven years of graduate school). For this specialty area, most people will spend between eight to 12 years in higher education.

Many Psychologists often say that feelings of helplessness, the stress of dealing with clients' problems, the demanding educational requirements and the tedious nature of billing for payment are among the hardest parts about working as a psychologist.

The pathway , time and struggles that come with being a psychologist often varies depending on what type of psychologist you desire to be
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is really helpful. Emmalee
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Adolfo Manuel’s Answer

You should definitely talk/shadow a psychologist to make sure you like it. I love my shrink. I also recommend therapy to all my patients.

Adolfo Manuel recommends the following next steps:

Talk to advisor
Shadow psychologist
Do research on the career and the pay
Get comfortable reading and comprehending lots of material
Be able to step on others shoes temporarily but don’t go too deep so you can’t get out.
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