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People Helping People: Choosing the Right Path

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In these difficult times, what better way to help others than by being present for them, hearing what is on their minds and having the skills and knowledge to give them helpful advice. Many times, friends and loved ones come to us asking for our insights and we may feel ill-equipped to truly assist them. For some, the deep desire to help others and to be there for them is a lifelong calling. One way to open a path that will enable us to give all we can is by pursuing a graduate degree in Psychology or Psychiatry. An advanced programme in one of these fields will not only show us how the human mind works but will also provide a practitioner with the tools and methodologies that are needed to help clients solve their problems. With a graduate degree in Psychology or Psychiatry, you learn many ways to help others get to the root of their issues and be able to implement meaningful change in their lives. With the proper help, patients will be able to remove obstacles in their life and tap into the power of their true potential.

Choosing the right undergraduate degree

During the course of your undergraduate studies, you will need to select a major. If you choose to pursue an undergraduate degree in Psychology you will be able to explore many different specialities within your chosen field. For example, one can specialise in addiction, negative patterns, abnormal psychology and many other areas that affect our society deeply today. By starting out with a four-year degree in Psychology you have time to immerse yourself in a wide variety of topics in your field. Learning the different ways the mind works gives you the opportunity and impetus you need to choose the specific direction of future post-graduate studies. It allows us to decide what subject area fascinates us and helps us choose a path that allows us to truly help others in life.

How to pay for your graduate medical education

Many of the career choices in the realm of Psychology or Psychiatry require advanced training in the form of a graduate or graduate medical degree. Once you have received your undergraduate diploma and tentatively decided on the focus of your continued course of study you’ll need to apply for and enrol in a top-quality graduate programme. A graduate degree from a prestigious school can really enhance your opportunity for advancing on your career path. In order to pay for your education, you’ll want to take advantage of all scholarships, work-study funds and grants that are available. It’s also helpful to take out a student loan with a private lender so you can finance your education instead of having to pay for everything out of pocket upfront. Banks, credit unions and finance companies typically offer private student loans for advanced graduate medical training.

Pursuing higher-level learning and knowledge

When you choose to pursue a graduate programme, you embark on a path of higher-level learning and knowledge. Your advanced education will help prepare you to be able to help people understand their patterns and situations in life and rise above the constraints of society and learned behaviours to become fully actualised human beings. With advanced knowledge, you will be able to hone in on the client’s issues and help them overcome anything that may be holding them down. With a Masters or Doctorate in Psychology or Psychiatry, you can really go out into the world and help those in need. Either degree is noteworthy, however with a Psychiatry Degree you will have the medical knowledge to prescribe medication that may ease your patient’s way to optimum health.


Helen Bradfield did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.

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