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How should approach this field?

How should i approach the field of psychology? Therapy/ counseling specifically? What should my classes look like and where can I take internships ect.

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Jessica Dominique’s Answer

Hello Ana,

As a career counselor, here is my plan of action for you:

1. Obtain a Bachelor’s in Psychology or a related field and maintain a higher than 3.0 GPA.

2. In your junior year, look up Master’s programs in Counseling and know the prerequisites. Generally, you want to look for programs accredited by CACREP https://www.cacrep.org/accreditation/. When CACREP accredits a program, they meet state-wide standards for licensure (which is very important).

3. Keep good relationships with Professors and employers to acquire Letters of Recommendation when you apply for your Master’s of Counseling.

4. Apply to your Master’s program with your essay, Letters of Recommendation, and other materials.

5. Attend your Master’s in Counseling program and start accumulating clinical hours (hours of counseling patients). Your school will connect you with internships/practicum - so don't worry about that! To get licensed as an LPC or LMHC, you must complete a specific amount of hours determined by your state.

Specific classes will be: counseling multicultural patients, psychotherapy, ethics, diagnosing mental illness, career counseling, bereavement counseling, addictions counseling and more.

6. Follow all licensing guidelines for your state; do a quick internet search (for example: “Utah state counseling requirements”).

7. Get a license and start your career as a Licensed Psychotherapist/Mental Health Counselor

8. You may work at hospitals, clinics, schools, and social services, or you may have your own private practice — there are many options in the counseling field, which is growing by the day!

I hope this helps!

Warmly,

Jessica Dominique
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Abhishek’s Answer

Psychology is indeed a wonderful field, you may approach this field by two ways, the first one is first study medicine and then specialize yourself in the field of therapy and the second one is go for the psychology itself from the beginning. The first one is more leggit as it involves strenuous study of the nervous system's physiology, anatomy and behavioral therapy. In this way the scope of research is literally unlimited.
By second way you can go for bachelors and masters in psychology atleast and then complete your certification or fellowship in clinical counselling from a renewed Institute and then you'll be eligible for the license to practice in this field.
Your classroom must provide you with practical exposure and learning as it's a whole lot of difference between studying the concepts and applications of the same.
You may go for the internships also like in some NGOs or some Non- profit organizations or you also can describe your interest to your professor or professionals around you and there probably you will get the right exposure.
Hope this helps.
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Jenna Kashcheeva’s Answer

Hi Ana, to best answer your question, do some research to identify which areas of psychology you're most interested in. You can ever ask ChatGPT to do some research for you based on your main areas of interest :) I studied psychology; many students dropped off school at some point because it was not eventually what they expected, so I suggest you dig deeper. You can also ask people in this niche, for example, on LinkedIn, about the specifics of the roles and their career journeys or trace their experiences there.

There are many things to consider: the level of education that you're willing to obtain, the desired industry, etc. Many colleges have their own internal job and internship boards to pick from; again, you can look at where people with open profiles on LinkedIn took their internships to get a better idea of potential places or Google for internships in your area.

I found this website helpful: https://www.psychology.org/resources/counseling-therapy-psychology-differences/

I hope that it helps!
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Daniel’s Answer

Hello there!

Approaching the field of psychology, specifically therapy or counseling, requires a combination of academic preparation, practical experience, and personal development. Here are some steps you can take:

Academic Preparation:

Bachelor's Degree: Pursue an undergraduate degree in psychology or a related field. Ensure that your coursework includes foundational psychology courses such as general psychology, abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, and social psychology.
Graduate Education: Consider pursuing a master's or doctoral degree in counseling, clinical psychology, or a related field. These advanced degrees are typically required to become a licensed therapist or counselor.

Gain Practical Experience:

Internships: Look for internships or volunteer opportunities at counseling centers, mental health clinics, or other organizations that offer counseling services. These opportunities can provide valuable hands-on experience and exposure to different therapeutic approaches.
Research Assistantships: Consider working as a research assistant in a psychology lab or research institution. This experience can deepen your understanding of psychological research methods and help you develop critical thinking skills.

Pursue Licensure and Certification:

Licensing Requirements: Research the specific licensing requirements for therapists or counselors in your region or country. Licensing requirements vary, but typically involve completing a certain number of supervised clinical hours and passing a licensure examination.
Professional Associations: Join professional associations related to counseling or therapy, such as the American Counseling Association (ACA) or the American Psychological Association (APA). These associations offer resources, networking opportunities, and guidance on licensure and professional development.

Personal Development:

Self-Reflection and Personal Growth: Engage in personal reflection, self-awareness, and personal growth. This can involve personal therapy or counseling to deepen your understanding of yourself and enhance your capacity for empathy and compassion.
Emotional Resilience: Develop emotional resilience and self-care practices to manage the emotional demands of working in therapy or counseling. Prioritize your own well-being to ensure you can provide effective support to others.

Continuing Education and Professional Development:

Stay Informed: Stay updated on the latest research and developments in the field of psychology and therapy. Attend conferences, workshops, and seminars to expand your knowledge and skills.
Specialize: Consider pursuing specialized training or certifications in specific areas of counseling or therapy, such as marriage and family therapy, trauma-focused therapy, or substance abuse counseling.

Networking and Mentoring:

Connect with professionals in the field through networking events, professional conferences, or online platforms. Seek mentorship from experienced therapists or counselors who can provide guidance and support as you navigate your career path.

Remember that requirements and regulations can vary depending on your location, so it's important to research the specific requirements in your country or region. Additionally, consult with academic advisors, faculty members, or career counselors at your educational institution for guidance on selecting classes, finding internships, and exploring opportunities in the field of psychology and therapy.
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