The world of psychology is certainly fascinating. Psychologists develop a deep understanding of the mind, as well as psychological processes and disorders. Using this information, they can bring peace and balance into the lives of people who are suffering from mental health challenges. If you would like to become a psychologist, you are in for a very exciting, rewarding, yet challenging journey.
The need for psychologists has grown, and therefore so has the number of schools offering psychology courses and degree programs. In order to become a licensed psychologist in most states, it is necessary to obtain your PhD or PsyD. If you want to become a psychologist, you must be passionate about this career path because it certainly requires commitment and drive. After completing high school, most psychologists complete an additional eight to ten years of education.
On top of the education requirements, it is also often necessary to complete experience in the field. Many states and/or schools require psychology students to complete a clinical internship or apprenticeship in order to complete the degree program or meet licensing requirements.
Licensing requirements vary from state to state. In order to work as an independent practicing psychologist, such as in a hospital or in a private practice, you will need your doctorate degree in order to qualify to even take the necessary licensing exam. It is only after passing the licensing exam that you can legally see patients one on one as a psychologist. In some states, you can receive certification to work as a psychologist within schools with only a master’s degree.
If you are feeling discouraged by the difficult and demanding requirements to become a psychologist, there are other similar career paths, that will also allow you to assist others, without a doctorate degree, such as counseling or many types of therapy occupations. If you are willing to put in the work necessary to become a great psychologist, the career opportunities are boundless.
As you can see, becoming a psychologist requires a lot of hard work and dedication. The education process alone can be very time consuming and expensive. If you do attend a university, it can be very beneficial to become as involved as possible within the psychology department, and join any available clubs. In order to save some time and money, there are accredited degree programs that can be completed online, but they will need to be paired to in the field training and experience.