4 Fields of Psychology to Consider for Your Career

4 Fields of Psychology to Consider for Your Career

Psychology is a popular area of study for a number of reasons, but many students gravitate towards the field due to the engaging and meaningful nature of the work. From a scientific perspective, psychology and psychiatry are rich disciplines that can challenge even the sharpest mind.

On a human level, working to help those with mental illnesses or other disabilities improve their quality of life and manage difficult symptoms can be deeply fulfilling. Once you’ve committed to studying psychology, you’ll need to think about what specialization you’re most interested in. If you’re an aspiring psychologist or psychiatrist, read on to learn more about four fields you should consider for your career.

1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is more of a treatment method than a field, but good cognitive behavioral therapists can be hard to come by. Due to the number of mental illnesses that can benefit from CBT, you’ll have the opportunity to work with a diverse patient population.

CBT therapist focuses primarily on identifying negative thoughts and behaviors and training yourself to replace them with healthier and more productive responses to various stimuli. This type of therapy can help people deal with issues like social anxiety, phobias, and managing conditions like panic disorder and PTSD in public settings.

2. School Psychology

Anyone who enjoys working with kids should consider a career in school psychology. As a school psychologist, you’ll work primarily with K-12 students and their families, though some also work with older young adults and college students. Your focus will be on helping students succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. You’ll also help to create a healthier and more inclusive learning environment for all students.

3. Marriage Counseling

Those who are interested in emotional work may be a good fit within the marriage counseling field. You’ll need to develop advanced knowledge of human thought and behavior and of the psychology of romantic relationships. The clinical problems presented can vary significantly depending on the couple and the situation. Sexual trauma, domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse, mental health issues, medical issues, and any number of other topics may come up during treatment and you should be prepared to handle them with sensitivity and care.

4. Clinical Neuropsychology

For those interested in a more cerebral and specialized field, clinical neuropsychology can be both fascinating and rewarding. Neuropsychology deals with the way human behavior is affected by the brain. Neurobehavioral conditions include Parkinson’s disease, dementia, traumatic brain injuries, seizure disorders, and a number of learning disabilities. Typically, due to the amount of knowledge and specialized nature of the career, a doctorate and some post-doctoral work is required.

No matter what field you want to go into, a career in psychology will take a lot of work. You may have heard about the NSHSS scam, but the truth is that honor societies can provide meaningful benefits for students with specific career aspirations. One major perk is access to exclusive scholarships. Given the amount of schooling required to become a licensed psychologist in any field, it’s a good idea to start planning for the future early.

Helping patients dealing with serious mental health issues find effective treatment and meaningfully improve their day-to-day lives can be deeply emotionally satisfying work for those who are invested in it.

Clinical practice also demands that constantly develop new skills and stay up to date with the latest research on any conditions that you deal with on a regular basis, which can be enticing for the academically minded. It’s important to choose a specialization that you feel passionate about if you intend to pursue psychology. Given how demanding and difficult the work can be, caring about what you do is essential if you want to have a long career.