A psychologist definitely isn’t the right career for everybody, but if you think that you would get a lot of satisfaction out of helping people through psychology and therapy, this could be the perfect job for you. It’s not something that you have to have started at an early age either – you can start studying and change your career whenever you feel like the time is right. Here are some of the things you should think about and do if you want to become a psychologist.
Find out the qualifications you need
This will vary depending on a few factors. The main factor is what type of psychologist you want to be – you might want to be an educational psychologist, a psychologist for people who have been in prison or rehab, or maybe you just want to help regular people who want to come for frequent therapy sessions in order to feel better. You can talk to other psychologists and research the different areas that are available to see which ones really appeal to you. You might not necessarily need a degree in Psychology, and if you already have a degree in a social subject, you might be able to take additional exams rather than doing an entirely new degree.
Find out what’s required in the area you want to teach
The qualifications and requirements will vary from not only one country to the next but also from one area to another depending on which country you’re going to work in. Practising the best psychology Gold Coast could be very different from being a psychologist in a totally different area, and if you wanted to work overseas, the qualifications and requirements would be very different yet again. You should find qualifications that are easily transferable, just in case you do ever want to practise in another country or area.
Get work experience as soon as possible
No matter how old you are, you can start getting work experience which will give you a great head start as well as making sure that you understand a little bit about the profession before you dive into studying and spending lots of money on becoming qualified and setting yourself up as a professional psychologist. If you’re studying, ask your tutors if they can suggest any agencies or companies and organisations that are able to help you find work experience in your chosen area. Failing this, you can contact health centres and clinics directly and ask them if you can come and volunteer for a day. Even though you might not be able to sit in all the sessions with the psychologists and their patients, you will be able to go into the environment and start learning about the types of things which arise and that you might have to deal with. Even just having a coffee or lunch with a qualified psychologist will be very valuable in helping you to understand what you are studying for.