Psychologist is quite popular profession attracting many. After all, it allows you to penetrate the soul of a person, understanding the innermost. These days, it is a popular job arousing interest. So, what does it take to become a successful psychologist and where to start?
1. Features of the Profession: Functions and Tasks
Specialty is rather difficult; it implies constant contact with people Psychologist work involves communication with people who face constant stress and they may need psychological support. Therefore, it is impossible to avoid difficulties in some situations.The activity includes working with clients, counseling, training courses, assessing personality and psychological evaluation as well as counseling in difficult life situations. Direct responsibilities are usually determined by the workplace and area of specialization.
2. What Does it take to Become a Psychologist?
Primarily, you have to understand that choosing a profession is a big responsibility. Love for people is a distinguishing feature of a psychologist - a true desire to help them understand their problems and choose the right path in life.
Endless patience is the most important tool for successful therapy. As psychology includes various directions, it’s perfectly logically that it is impossible to be a professional in all at once. A good start would be a self-education course, within which you should study the available information, recommended literature and existing practice.
3. Qualities Required
Tact, the ability to listen and empathy are certainly those qualities a good psychologist should possess. This work often leads to nervous and emotional strain. Accordingly, a person who has connected his life with psychology should be able to abstract and wall himself from the client’s problems. Otherwise, due to mood swings, poor sleep and lack of rest, depression is inevitable. A psychologist must undoubtedly be in good mental and physical health.
Empathy is another quality needed. The ability to understand the interlocutor and truly empathize with him is invaluable. A good psychologist is also characterized by tolerance, he is always restrained and fully controls his emotions.
Depending on the area of specialization, a professional psychologist who closely interacts with people should:
- have the skills of classical psychoanalysis;
- know the basics of logotherapy;
- know the method of transactional analysis;
- be able to apply Gestalt therapy;
- use the methods of NLP.
4. Main Responsibilities
There are pros and cons in being a psychologist, as in any other job. Constant tension and stress inevitably arise when communicating with people and this should not be overlooked.
4.1 Main responsibilities include:
- conducting various tests to determine client’s personality;
- psychological trainings;
- counseling in difficult life situations;
- analysis of social and professional influence as well as other factors, on behavior and thinking;
- study of the causes resulting from the unsatisfactory client’s condition;
- therapeutic communication, individual counseling;
- adaptation assistance (in a new place of residence, at a new job, etc.).
5. How to become a Counseling Psychologist
To master psychology, you need to get a feeling about people. This can be reached over the years of practice. It is based on three main principles of conversation:
- Personal space. Certainly, no one likes invasion in the personal space, moreover, actively imposing his view. A competent specialist has to establish a trust relationship with the client and only then try to enter his personal space.
- Non-verbal means. Not every person is able to easily open up and speak out loud. In such cases, a psychologist uses facial expressions and gestures, which can tell a lot about a person. Noticing non-verbal manifestations, the professional changes his own behavior in order to make the conversation comfortable for the client.
- Ability to listen. This is the most important skill required for provision of psychological support. Sometimes people visit psychologists just for a talk, or to let their feelings out.
Thus, everyone who wants to realize their professional potential as a psychologist, should keep the following:
- Receive a quality education.
- Communicate as much as possible with actively practicing colleagues.
- Read research literature based on sharing experiences.
- Learn to listen and give people good advice on how to manage the challenging realities of life.
- Leave fears and doubts behind and open yourself for new knowledge
Firstly, you need to obtain basic education in the field. After that, it is advisable to take additional training for a counseling psychologist. Remember, being a professional in the field of psychology requires constant practice. You should start training first on yourself, identifying and considering your own problems.
Only after all the techniques have been worked out and brought to perfection, you can look for a job. Over time, your professionalism will increase, allowing you to think of private practice.