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What happens as a psychologist or any health specialist that no one really knows or hears about and what are the expectations versus reality?

I am a freshman at Waimea High School and the Health career has interested me but I'm not sure what to expect if I pursue this interest of mine or which way I would want to go in the Health career.

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Dina’s Answer

Hi Siena,

I appreciate your desire to find out what careers in healthcare are like on the inside.

As a psychologist, I specialize in helping overcome problems that get in the way of living. I have training in understanding and treating mental disorders. Psychologists tend to use one or more therapeutic approaches to help clients achieve their goals. There are many ways of setting goals and reducing obstacles to reaching them, but most require the therapist to take an active role rather than nod and answer "hm mhm." Some stereotypes of psychologists that I think are accurate include, asking people questions about their feelings and their experience and observing details in a person's body language and actions. There are many types of psychologists and different styles or approaches to therapy so there is no one right way to perform this job.

I hope this gives you an idea of what it can be like to be a psychologist. Most importantly, keep exploring your interests to find a career that suits you!
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Siena!

Expectations vs. Reality of Pursuing a Career in Psychology or Health Specialization

When considering a career in psychology or any health specialization, it’s important to understand the expectations versus the reality of the profession. Here’s a comprehensive overview of what happens as a psychologist or health specialist that may not be widely known, along with the expectations versus the reality of pursuing this career path.


Helping Others: Many individuals are drawn to careers in psychology and healthcare because they have a genuine desire to help others and make a positive impact on people’s lives.
Job Stability: There is an expectation that careers in psychology and healthcare offer relatively stable job prospects due to the ongoing demand for mental health services and medical care.
Intellectual Stimulation: The expectation is that working in these fields will provide intellectual stimulation, as professionals engage in critical thinking, problem-solving, and continuous learning.


Emotional Toll: Working as a psychologist or health specialist can take an emotional toll, as professionals often deal with individuals facing significant challenges, trauma, and mental health issues.
Administrative Responsibilities: The reality includes administrative tasks such as documentation, record-keeping, and insurance-related paperwork, which can be time-consuming and detract from direct patient care.
Continuing Education: In the rapidly evolving field of psychology and healthcare, ongoing education and professional development are essential to stay current with best practices and advancements in treatment modalities.

Psychologist vs. Health Specialist:

Psychologist: Psychologists typically focus on mental health assessment, diagnosis, and treatment through therapy and counseling. They may work in private practice, hospitals, schools, or research settings.
Health Specialist: This term can encompass various roles within the broader healthcare industry, including physicians, nurses, therapists, social workers, and public health professionals. Each specialization has its unique responsibilities and areas of focus.

Career Paths:

Clinical Psychology: Involves working directly with individuals to assess and treat mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and trauma.
Counseling Psychology: Focuses on helping individuals navigate life challenges, improve relationships, and develop coping strategies.
Healthcare Administration: Involves managing healthcare facilities, overseeing staff, budgeting, and ensuring compliance with regulations.

Conclusion: Pursuing a career in psychology or any health specialization can be deeply rewarding but also comes with its own set of challenges. It’s crucial to carefully consider the expectations versus the reality of these professions before making a decision.

Top 3 Authoritative Sources Used:

American Psychological Association (APA): The APA provides authoritative information on psychology careers, educational requirements, and professional practice standards.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): The BLS offers comprehensive data on employment trends, job outlooks, and salary information for various healthcare professions.
World Health Organization (WHO): WHO’s publications provide valuable insights into global healthcare challenges, best practices in mental health care, and public health initiatives.

These sources were instrumental in providing accurate and reliable information about the expectations versus reality of pursuing a career in psychology or any health specialization.

James Constantine.