How to become a psychologist

Surveys say that 56 million of the Indian population suffer different kinds of depression and substance abuse, and 38 million suffer other anxieties, phobias, and serious mental health issues.

So, Psychologists play an important role in helping with these widespread issues. Psychologists are non-medical doctors with a Ph.D. in studying the human mind and behavior. 

Psychologists help people in overcoming irrational worries and anxieties, mending strained relationships with loved ones and at the workplace, and improving their quality of life generally.

Read this article to understand a psychologist’s career as a whole and find out how to become a psychologist yourself.

What is Psychology?

Psychology is the study of conscious and unconscious phenomena such as emotions and thoughts. It is the scientific study of the human mind and behavior.

The field of Psychology is indeed very big, and once you complete your education and become a Psychologist, your actual roles and responsibilities will depend on the specialty you choose. 

What Does a Psychologist Do?

Psychologists work in a variety of situations. They counsel or conduct research, provide psychotherapy, administer personality tests, and teach at colleges and universities. 

Clinical psychologists are trained to help patients in overcoming the challenges that stand in the way of them leading better and more fulfilling lives. They put every effort into enhancing the mental wellness of their clients.

It does have an Interesting Sound to it, doesn’t it? To put it simply, it is a remarkable career. As a result, we are going to provide a step-by-step guide that explains how to become a psychologist.

Step 1: Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree

Psychologists frequently begin their careers with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. General Psychology, Experimental Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Statistics are all mandatory courses that you need to study to pursue your career in the field of Psychology. 

Step 2: Gain Some Professional Experience

Help a professor with his/her research project if you’re interested in Experimental Psychology. If you are interested in Developmental Psychology, you should work with handicapped children. 

Volunteer at a mental health clinic if you’re interested in Clinical or Counseling Psychology.

If you gain practical experience while studying, you are more likely to find work soon after graduation.

Step 3: Pursue A Specialised Course

There are numerous specializations in Psychology that you can pursue as a career. Namely:

    • Clinical Psychology, 

    • Cognitive Psychology, 

    • Development Psychology, 

    • Counseling Psychology, 

    • Educational Psychology, 

    • Forensic Psychology, and 

    • Social Psychology. 

Learn about the different programs to find the best Psychology professional degree for you.

Step 4: Pursue a Doctorate Degree

A doctorate is required for most fields of Psychology. Graduate schools in Psychology look for a competitive GRE score of 1200 or higher, a GPA of 3.3 or higher, and volunteer or paid experience in the field.

Step 5: Do Internships

Writing, teamwork, organization, accountability, and problem-solving are just a few of the skills you’ll learn during your Psychology internship.

Because there are so many paths in Psychology to consider and understand, internship opportunities will help you foster extensive exploration of the field.

Step 6: Get Certified

Certification in Psychology is necessary to demonstrate specialization.

Psychology, like other healthcare disciplines, has seen an increase in specialization, and certification can validate that you have the necessary training and knowledge to treat specific populations or work in a specific branch of the field.

Skills Required to Become a Psychologist

Here are a few skills required to become a Psychologist:

    • Emotional Stability

The best Psychologists have emotional control and deep, ingrained emotional stability. Every day, you may hear upsetting stories. 

Suicidal thoughts, disturbing thoughts, and other potentially frightening scenarios can be triggered by certain psychological disorders. 

    • Communication

Communication is important in every field, but it’s especially important in Psychology. In fact, it’s the main thing a Psychologist does. 

Psychology is the scientific study of how people act and what makes people more likely to act in a certain way. There are varied clients with varied problems, and it’s important to know how to talk to them in order to get information. 

This skill is also important for showing how you feel and how to put what you’ve seen into practice.

    • Patience

Even if you have a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, there are some things that a degree cannot teach you. Patience is one of them. 

As you might expect, dealing with patients in this field can be particularly challenging because their behavior deviates from what we consider “normal.” 

As a result, it is crucial to be patient with these clients while remaining motivated.

    • Research 

When it comes to the actual profession, nothing is done that hasn’t been supported by research and practice. 

This is important because trials and data are needed to fully understand whether something is good for patients or not. If what you’re trying to do hasn’t been proven by a study, it could be dangerous for the patient and hurt your reputation. 

You will also have to read scientific journals and do your own research to get better at what you do.

    • Ethics

If you work in any profession that requires you to care for people in any capacity, ethics is critical. 

Ethics guides professional humanistic practice, whether it is treating all patients equally, informing them of their rights, or simply being honest with them.

    • Compassion

Psychologists must have a strong sense of compassion in their character. Being empathetic can help you establish better communication and relationships.

    • Listening 

Particularly in the context of counseling and the development of therapeutic interventions for clients in your care, the ability to listen, and more specifically to listen actively, is crucial. 

    • Commitment to Learning

Any field that is directly related to caring for others is always changing. New studies are published, research trials are carried out, and new information is made available to the public. 

If you want to work in this field, you must be willing to commit to learning for the rest of your life. 

Top Colleges in India to Become a Psychologist

The Top Colleges in India to Become a Psychologist are:

    • Lady Shri Ram College

    • St. Xavier’s College

    • Christ University

    • Fergusson College

    • K. J Somaiya College of Arts and Commerce

    • Jai Hind College

    • Kamla Nehru College for Women

    • Kishinchand Chellaram College

    • Indraprastha College for Women

    • Mithibai College

Best Psychology Colleges in India after 12th

    • AIIMS Delhi

    • Jamia Millia Islamia

    • Lovely Professional University

    • Christ University

    • GGSIPU

    • Banaras Hindu University

    • Chandigarh University

    • University of Hyderabad

    • Aligarh Muslim University

    • Manipal University

Best BSc Psychology Colleges in India

    • Amity University, Noida

    • Assam Down Town University, Guwahati

    • Kishinchand Chellaram College of Arts, Commerce, and Science, Mumbai

    • St.Xaviers College Kolkata

    • Kirori Mal College, New Delhi

    • Queen Mary’s College, Chennai

    • Christ University, Bangalore

    • Lady Shri Ram College for Women, New Delhi

    • Presidency College, Chennai 

    • Jesus and Mary College, New Delhi

Best Colleges for MA Psychology

    • Lady Shri Ram College

    • St. Xaviers College

    • Chandigarh University

    • Jain University

    • Symbiosis College

    • Mithibai College of Arts

    • Ranchi University

    • LD Arts College Ahmedabad

    • University of Lucknow

    • Amity University

Career Opportunities and Salary

Highest paying Jobs in India Salary per Annum
Psychiatrist ₹975,328 per year
Industrial/Organizational Psychologist ₹4,25,000 per year
Neuro Psychologist ₹496,647 per year
School Counselor/Psychologist ₹3,02,012 per year
Clinical Psychologist ₹355,326 per year
Forensic Psychologist ₹5,65,000 per year
Counseling Psychologist ₹362,758 per year
Sports Psychologist ₹589,581 per year
Education Psychologist ₹10,65,343 per year
Child Psychologist ₹480,000 per year

Top Universities Abroad to Become a Psychologist (BONUS)

World Rank Name of the University Country
1 Harvard University USA
2 Stanford University USA
3 University of Cambridge UK
4 University of Oxford (OU) UK
5 University of California – Berkeley Campus (UC Berkeley) USA
6 University of California – Los Angeles Campus (UCLA) USA
7 University College London (UCL) UK
8 Yale University USA
9 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) USA
10 University of Michigan (U-M) USA

Frequently Asked Questions

In most cases, becoming a certified Psychologist can take as few as 8 years or as lengthy as 12 years.

BA Psychology – 3 years

BA (Hons) Psychology – 3 years

B.Sc Psychology – 3 years

B.Sc (Hons) Psychology – 3 years

Dual Degree –  BA & MA Clinical Psychology Integrated – 4.5 years

Diploma – 2 years

A degree in Psychology can provide doors to both creative and analytical fields of work, depending on the individual student’s goals and aspirations.

Healthcare, education, mental health assistance, social work, therapy, counseling, and a host of other choices abound, both publicly and privately.

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree.

Step 2: Acquire Some Professional Experience.

Step 3: Enroll in a Specialized Course…

Step 4: Earn a doctorate degree.

Step 5: Perform Internships.

Step 6: Obtain Certification.

It is not as difficult as you may believe to become a Psychologist. It’s a lot of work, and you have to be passionate about the field, but it’s an achievable goal.

A master’s degree in counseling, marriage and family therapy, pastoral counseling, or a related field is all that is required.

A bachelor’s degree is the most direct route to a variety of Psychology careers.

There are no prerequisites, but Life Science or Biology will be advantageous because Psychology focuses on the human brain and sensory systems.

You certainly can! But, Statistics, in particular, is an essential component of any Psychology course.

ParaPsychology, by definition, is more ambiguous than “traditional” mental health practices. 

Non Quantifiable phenomena such as telepathy, telekinesis, extrasensory perception, and mind reading are studied in ParaPsychology.

Psychologists can conduct research, which is a significant academic and clinical contribution to the profession.

A therapist is a broad term for professionals who are trained and often licensed to provide a variety of treatments and rehabilitation to people

Every Psychologist is vulnerable to occupational stress due to the nature of their work. Certain issues are easier to deal with for some people, while others find them more difficult.

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