A psychologist is a person who reads the mind of his clients by understanding their behavior, their thinking and their habits and gives a diagnosis accordingly. Psychology on the other hand is the study of human behavior, how the human mind works, feelings and mental health care. There are various options that one looks at when talking about making a career in psychology, one can choose from a wide range and then focus on the specialization that they need to do.
To go into the field of psychology, the person needs to possess a few qualities, so that dealing with people is not all that difficult for them. Here are a few qualities which help people in becoming psychologists–
1. One should have great communication skills, a person will be talking to the client very often, the client should feel comfortable telling what his/her problem is.
2. The person should have an analytical mind so that he/she can draw conclusions while talking to the clients.
3. A lot of patience is required while trying to understand the client, the person will have to remain calm and composed even when under a lot of pressure.
4. The person should have compassion towards other human beings, he/she should be able to understand what the other person is going through and help them through the pain.
5. Passion is the only thing which can help the psychologist get through tough and emotionally draining situations, so a strong passion for the field is a must.
What to study?
To become a psychologist in India, there are a few pre-requisites which one must fulfil–
1. One should have passed the 10+2 exam, preferably with psychology as one of the optional subjects, if that is provided by your school.
2. Then one should think of completing a Bachelors degree which specializes in Psychology, there is BA and BS in psychology, which mainly focus on personality development, stress management, psychotherapy and neuro-psychology.
3. Once the Bachelors degree is complete on should immediately start thinking about Masters in the field of psychology. MA or MSc is available in either psychology, social work or counseling in various universities and one can choose the field they want to do their master in based on their interest.
4. One can go further and do a specialization at the doctoral level by studying PhD or MPhil in psychology.
In India, various universities provide courses in psychology and one can look into the pre-requisites which one has to fulfil to get into these universities.
Some of them are –
• University of Delhi
• University of Rajasthan (Jaipur, Rajasthan)
• Loyola College
• University of Mumbai
• University of Calcutta
• Jamia Millia University(New Delhi)
• Guru Nanak Dev University(Amritsar, Punjab)
Because psychology is a broad field, it provides a number of options for the people who want to work in the field, a few of those options are – Clinical psychology, counseling psychology, health psychology, teaching and research, community counseling, educational psychology, school counseling, school psychology, social work, sports psychology and organizational psychology. One could choose a field according to interest or on the basis of people they would like to deal with for the rest of their career.
Psychology is a high paying job, but the packages depend on various factors like – qualification, area of specialization, and experience one has in the field. If one has specialization at doctoral level, then the pay scale increases marginally. If one starts practicing at an early age, then the beginning salary can be anywhere around Rs 6,000 to 25,000 per month and this keeps increasing as one gets more experience and establishes him/herself and then it can go over Rs 2 lac/month.
Becoming a psychologist may be a very lengthy process and it will ask for your full commitment in times of difficulty too but giving up is just not an option. One must always follow their passion and their dreams. Psychology is one of the best ways of helping the society and I don’t think anybody should give up on such a noble dream.