If you are thinking about entering a career as a psychologist then it’s a good idea for you to understand some of the different types of psychology that exist so you can have a good understanding of the options that will be available to you once you have completed your studies and received the necessary certifications.
In this article we’ll divide these different kinds of psychology into two groups – the fields of psychology that are focused on the treating patients and the kinds of psychology that are more focused on research.
The Types Of Psychology Focused On Treatment
Clinical psychology is concerned with the diagnosis treatment of mental disorders and illnesses. The treatment will focus on using techniques such as counseling and psychotherapy.
The patient may also require medication but this cannot be prescribed by a clinical psychologist. They must refer the patient to a psychiatrist for this.
Some of the techniques used by a counseling psychologist are the same as those use by a clinical psychologist.
The difference between the two fields is typically seen in the type of problem treated.
In counseling psychology the focus is less on clinical disorders and more on changing behavior patterns to improve relationships, emotional well being, career success etc.
Similar to both of these fields are specialty areas like child psychology, sports psychology, school psychology and forensic psychology.
The Types Of Psychology That Are Research-Focused
A massive area of psychology is in gaining a greater understanding of how the brain works, how humans behave and how the two tie together.
Some of the common areas of study include:
This is the study of a range of mental processes including
- How humans learn and form memories.
- How we go about the task of applying logic and reason in the decision making process.
- How we learn languages
And so on
The focus here is on the development of the brain from when we’re children all the way through our adult lives, and how this development is related to our behaviors, our intellectual capabilities, our morals and so on.
Traditionally the focus has been on the younger age groups but the focus on older age groups has increased in recent years as our society ages and age related problems like Alzheimer’s become more prevalent.
This type of psychology is all about improving our understanding of both learning and teaching so that the best possible teaching methods can be used to effectively teach as many students as possible.
Unlike school psychology which deals with students on an individual basis, the educational psychologist is more concerned with improving education on a much larger scale.
Some Of The Other Kinds Of Psychology
Apart from the fields of psychologymentioned above, there are a range of other areas that might be of interest to you.
- Evolutionary psychology
- Social psychology
- Rehabilitation psychology
- Biological psychology
- Comparative psychology
In many of these types of psychology there is some cross over in the type of research being done.
So for example there are areas of developmental psychology which can provide valuable info to some working within educational psychology.
And the great thing about having all these different types of psychology is that no matter where your personal interests lie, you should be able to find a career path that gives you excellent satisfaction in your work.