When you’re trying to work out how many different fields of psychology there are, it’s probably easiest to start by breaking down psychology into a few different categories.
From there we can start looking at some of the subfields of psychology and gain a better understanding of how they all fit together.
Clinical Fields Of Psychology
So the first category that we’ll talk about here are the areas of psychology that are more practical in nature.
So this would cover any type of job or role we’re your goal is to help a client, patient or organization in some way.
There are many different subfields of psychology within this category so we’ll talk about a few of those in a little more detail below
This is probably the most well known of all the practical jobs available for psychologists.
The objective of the clinical psychologist is to identify and diagnose mental illnesses and disorders and then work together with the patient to create some sort of treatment plan that can get their mental health in order
Within this field of psychology you can choose from a wide range of specialties.
These will be based around focusing your work on specific age groups, demographic groups or specific mental problems.
For example you might focus your attention on treating people with bipolar disorder, or people who have suffered some sort of sexual abuse or trauma.
There is some overlap between the role of the clinical and counseling psychologist in that both roles require the use of counseling as a technique to help their patients.
The main difference between the two would be in the type of patient they see.
Counseling psychologists are more focused on helping patients change behaviors to help them with their social, marital and work lives, while a clinical psychologist would spend more time working with people who have been diagnosed with mental disorders.
Within the broad category that we’d call counseling psychology, there would also be a number of subfields that counsel specific groups such as school and sports psychologists.
Research-Based Fields Of Psychology
The next category we’ll talk about here are the research-focused roles and there are many different fields of psychology that revolve around furthering the research into a specific area of human behavior or brain function.
The aim of cognitive psychology is to study such things as how humans learn, how they form long term and short term memories, how they learn and understand languages along with various other mental processes such as our ability to reason and make decisions.
This field of psychology is all about understanding how the brain develops as we grow from childhood through our teen years and into adulthood and late adulthood.
The aim is to learn as much as possible about the relationship between age and the brain and how it affects things such as our skills of logic and reasoning, our ability to assess situations and make decisions
A neuropsychologist is interested in studying how the chemical reactions that take place in the brain affect human behavior and emotion.
Neuropsychologists also work towards gaining a better understanding of how things like stroke, head trauma, dementia, epilepsy and so on effect the brain and how advancements could possibly be made in the treatment of those problems.
A neuropsuchologist may also apply their knowledge in a practical setting to people that have suffered the above mentioned incidents.
Teaching-Based Fields Of Psychology
The third group of roles that you can enter within psychology are those that involve teaching.
To teach psychology you could come from either a research background or a practical background as your experience within your particular specialty will be a great advantage when it comes to teaching students who’d like to enter those very same fields of psychology.
In general most psychologists who are involved in research will also do some teaching because their job and research facility will often be based at an educational institute.
So hopefully this article gives you a better understanding of the fields of psychology and the psychologist careers available – while not necessarily comprehensive, it is a great overview of what options are available.