Becoming a practising psychologist isn’t as easy as following a clear-cut step layout, but it helps to have some guidance on what you will have to do to make your dream of becoming a psychologist a reality.
The one bottom line to remember is that you have to go to university to become a legal psychologist. Take a moment to read through a brief compilation of a few of the most pivotal steps you’ll encounter on your journey to becoming a psychologist.
You have to get a university degree
Going to university will help to carve your path to becoming a psychologist. You’ll need proper licensure to legally practise, and you will need to show that you have the proper educational requirements to acquire the licensing.
While you’re at university, it’s important to specialise as early as possible. There are many paths to a job in the field of psychology, and the choices you make throughout your college career will have a heavy impact on what kind of job you can get after graduation.
Work on getting your master’s or doctorate
You can’t stop learning after obtaining your bachelor’s degree. Most psychologists have a master’s or doctorate degree. It takes a lot of education to be competent in such a wide open field.
Planning a career as a psychologist means you’ll have to have a lot of patience. You’ll have to be in it for the long haul, and you will have to dedicate many years of your life to obtaining your goals.
There will be several internships
Throughout the span of your college experience, you will be required to complete different levels of internships associated with your particular field of study. You can be sure that you will have a lot of time working with people before you’re ever licensed.
Once you complete a master’s or doctoral program, your next step is to work through an internship or postdoctoral programme. You’ll be required to log a certain number of supervised hours of practice, typically 1,500–2,000 hours or 1 to 2 years.
You have to get licensed after your degree
Once you have finished your degree and your internship hours, you can then go through the process of obtaining your licence to practice. This is the apex of the ‘process’ of becoming a psychologist.
Now you are ready to start sharing your resume for prospective positions. Where you work and how you practice are really decided along the way, so be sure to take every decision seriously as you progress.
The tangled web of mental health
Now there are some loopholes to practice, but you’ll have a different level of legal backing in your practice. Anyone can become a counsellor at a church or in a focus group.
There are many ways you can drive your path towards helping people with their minds. You have to ask yourself just how far you are willing to go in your pursuit of psychology.
Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.