Psychology

Introduction

The word Psychology is derived from a Greek word Psyche which means "soul" or "mind". It has evolved both from biology and philosophy. It is a science that deals with the systematic study of human as well as animal mind. Thoughts, behaviours, motives, reactions, feelings and emotions etc come under the scope of this subject.

The studies concerning Psychology are conducted on the scientific basis where conclusions are drawn on the empirically tested data and beginning is done on the basis of hypothesis. Thus these studies are highly structured. There are two main areas and they are Applied Psychology and Academic Psychology which includes Social Psychology, Personality Psychology and Development Psychology.

Psychological practise involves examination and treatment of mental as well as emotional disorders and their causes. A qualified and trained Psychologist tries to find answers to these problems and formulates methods of treatment. For e.g a Psychologists help us to find ways to overcome the high stress levels or he would be helping us in overcoming crisis situation or trauma.

Specialization

Psychologists can specialise in:

Clinical Psychology: It studies about complex mental processes, abnormal human behaviours and the mysterious reasons behind those behaviours. A trained Clinical Psychologist offers counselling services to people with mental illness and other disorders and also do provide Psychotherapy. They help the client to successfully deal with emotionally disturbed states. They work out the methods of mental activities. Further areas of specialization in Clinical Psychology are Neuro Psychology, Health Psychology etc.

Social Psychology: This area of Psychology deals with social influence, social perception, and social interaction. Group behaviour, social perception, leadership, nonverbal behaviour, conformity, aggression, and prejudice etc are the subject matter of this field. These Psychologists assist in understanding and explaining diverse kinds of human behaviours in different social settings.

Industrial-Organizational Psychology: Here Psychological research is used to boost performance and efficiency in work, employee selection, improvement in designing of products and how to increase its usability. These Psychologists advise the companies about how to impress the clients and make people interested in buying their products.

Developmental Psychology: This area looks at overall growth and development of human beings over the lifespan. It studies about the cognitive abilities, moral values, social functioning etc of individuals. Right from infancy to old age, the behaviours of individuals are closely monitored under this area of study.

Forensic Psychology: It is an applied field which mainly concentrates on using Psychological research and principles in the legal and criminal justice system. It is application of Psychology in the criminal and field of civil justice.

Counselling Psychology: These Psychologists counsel people undergoing emotional and personal problems. Various techniques like interviewing, testing and advising people are taught in this area of specialization.

Educational Psychology: This branch of study is useful in educational system. It helps to understand emotional, social, and academic issues concerning the children. Learning and behavioural problems of students are taken care of. Effectiveness of educational programs is judged. Behaviour management procedures are adopted in a given educational set up.

Some other areas of specialization are Personality Psychology, Research Psychology, and Cognitive Psychology etc.

Personality

Academics build the basics. That is true. But, when you are on the verge of making it into the professional world or even contemplating the idea, a strict adherence to your academic institutional learning will fall short of equipping you with the tools that you need to make it large in your career. The same holds for the profession of PR as well. There are a lot many tangible and intangible factors that you need to master. Often such techniques can be learnt only when you have actually walked in to the office. However, following are some of the essential points that any aspirant in this field should make a point to remember.

  1. Sociability: ability to gel well with people from different professions.
  2. Tactfulness and Diplomacy.
  3. Patience.
  4. Precision of Conduct.
  5. Analytical Mind.
  6. Natural flair for innovative ideas, especially for crisis management.
  7. Clarity of speech and thought process.
  8. Brevity of writing.
  9. Organizational abilities.
  10. Oration power.
  11. Attitude to welcome pressure situations and take them up as challenge. I. Basic numerical skills.
  12. Self motivational spirit.

Professional Courses

Psychology is offered as a subject at plus two level. One can do Hons course in Psychology as an undergraduate degree course. Masters degree in can be done after the graduation. M.A or M.Sc in Psychology is offered by various universities in India. For further specializations M.Phil and PhD courses can be pursued. Various Certificate, Diploma and P.G Diploma courses are also available in the field of Psychology.

Course Duration

  • One can acquire graduation degree in three years.
  • Post graduation can be completed in two years.
  • M.Phil is also a three year course.
  • Diploma courses are of one year duration.

Eligibility

  • One needs to have passed 10+2 for getting admission in an undergraduate course in Psychology.
  • For Masters Degree one needs to have a Bachelors degree in Psychology.
  • For M.Phil/PhD a person should have a Masters Degree in Psychology.

Personal Attributes

One needs to have genuine interest in people and empathy for their problems. The person should be sensitive, caring and patient. He/she should have good communication skill. The person should possess the ability of ventilating all the negativity picked up during counselling. One should be able to pursue people in order to remove their mental blocks. Listening skills too are important. One has to be kind and passionate.

Career Prospects

Depending upon the area of specialization various career options can be selected. Since Psychology encompasses such a diverse range of subject matter, the career prospects too are varied. Psychologists are in great demand in the present day world. They can get employment in universities, colleges, government agencies, hospitals, private clinics, industrial establishments, rehabilitation centres, NGOs etc. They can get work in research institutions and even in prisons. They can make their career in advertisement industry as well. Sports Psychology too offers job opportunities to the well trained psychologists. They have the prospects of self employment too. They can open up their clinics and do counselling work. Forensic Psychologists can work for Academic Institutions, Prison Services, the National Health Service, Probation Services, Police Services and Social Services etc. Teaching can also be one of the options.

Colleges, Institutions and Universities

Several Universities across the country offer various courses. Some of the prominent institutions are:
  • University of Delhi
  • Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
  • Sardar Patel University, Gujarat
  • Gurunanak Dev University, Amritsar
  • University of Calcutta, Kolkota
  • Jodhpur University
  • Barkhatullah Viswavidyalaya, Bhopal
  • Kuruskhetra University, Haryana
  • Mysore University, Mysore.

Apart from this The Rehabilitation Council of India and NCERT also conduct various diploma and certificate courses from time to time.

M.Phil. Programs are available at:

  • Central Institute of Psychiatry (CIP) in Ranchi (Jharkhand)
  • National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) in Bangalore (Karnataka)
  • Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) in New Delhi.

Remunerations

The profession of a well trained and qualified Psychologist, though difficult, is quite remunerative. Pay packages vary according to qualification, specialization and experience. Psychologist in school, collages and NGOs can earn around Rs 10,000 to 12000 per month. Corporate houses and industries pay a higher scale. Earnings in private practice are quite high.

Author

The article has been contributed by Ms. Abha Kheterpal. She has been an educationist for past 15 year. She has three masters degrees with her: M.A. in English, M.A Economics and M.Sc Psychotherapy & Counseling and being diverse in her interests, she also holds a Diploma in Computer and Software Applications. She is also a freelance writer with Jagaran Publications. She regularly contributes Career Related articles on CareerAge.com and does Career Counseling.

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