How to become a psychologist?

Psychology is a broad subject with promising career prospects. Becoming a psychologist doesn’t just mean listening to people. Because even while studying psychology, numerous specializations are open to you! So that you can get an overview, you will find all information about the job description of a psychologist, study opportunities, and career prospects here.

The societal need for psychological expertise continues to grow while the number of mental illnesses increases. This development is one of the reasons why the unemployment rate among psychologists has always been low in recent years. Thus, graduates of a psychology degree can expect a promising future.

But when can you call yourself a psychologist? Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as THE psychologist because psychologists demand supervisory functions and other areas depending on their specialization. Even if the general public often equates psychologists with psychological psychotherapists and calls them “soul doctors,” these only constitute a sub-area of ​​psychology. The psychology degree opens up many doors for you that may confuse you in your research. So that you don’t lose track of things, we will introduce you to the most critical professional fields of psychologists and explain them to you below study opportunities.

What does a psychologist do?

As extensive as the sub-areas of psychology are, they all have the same starting point. Psychology means the “science of conscious and unconscious psychological processes, of human experience and behavior.” According to this, psychologists observe human experience and behavior, analyze the conditions of its occurrence, show its consequences and make predictions about its behavior in future situations. Regardless of the industry, it is always about what makes a person what it is, what motivates them, or what holds them back. As a psychologist, you will develop strategies to change human experience and behavior for the better.

Psychology is an empirical science insofar as its findings are derived from verifiable data. Controlled observations, experiments, surveys, and test procedures are usual methods of knowledge and evaluation for psychologists. In doing so, you look at people holistically and in all of their relationships with the outside world. Psychology is linked to medicine, the natural sciences, especially biology, social psychology, and social education. Since there are many different sub-areas, the field of work of a psychologist is also very varied.

Fields of activity of a “typical” psychologist

As a first summary, we can say that you, as a psychologist, will always be needed when a person can no longer get out of a crisis alone. These can be very different clinical pictures: Depression, anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorders, addictions, burnout, or life crises. This is how you can help your patients cope with their problems and overcome their fears in talk therapy.

In the first conversation, you let your counterpart report a lot, ask specific in-depth questions and listen a lot. In this way, you can get a first impression and understand what the problem is. At the end of the conversation, show your patients various possibilities that can be helpful to them in their situation. Because when a patient qualifies for psychotherapy, he encourage to turn to a psychotherapist. In some cases, a hospital stay is initiated with the consent of the patient. So if you want to become a psychologist, you can expect the following tasks  in everyday work:

  • Have conversations
  • Prepare forecasts, reports, and certificates.
  • Develop psychological diagnostics about performance, personality traits, behavioral disorders, psychological changes, and states of suffering
  • Treatment for the prevention or rehabilitation of people
  • Advice to individuals or groups
  • Advice to legal persons

Psychology not limited to counseling but a broad discipline that consists of many fields. Students in higher semesters and the Master’s Psychology specialize in incompetence and can deepen their knowledge here. We will give you a brief overview of the specialist areas and the associated possible occupational fields in the following.

Psychologist training: how do you become a psychologist?

The exact job title of the psychologist was controversial for a long time and caused a great deal of excitement. In a process that has taken years, the BDP (Professional Association of German Psychologists) has protected its members’ titles. On the grounds of the judgment, it finally says:

Forensic Psychology Patient

“To this day, psychology regard as a university science and a psychologist as someone who has acquired the necessary knowledge in academic training.”

Therefore, we can state that the designation psychologist use by people who have completed at least four years of major in psychology with at least 240 points according to the European Credit Transfer System in psychology. The European Certificate in Psychology (EuroPsy) launched to achieve a uniformly high standard for psychologist training.

The umbrella organization of the European national associations of psychologists (European Federation of Psychologists Associations, EFPA) awards this certificate to psychologists whose studies correspond quantitatively and qualitatively to the agreed standards, who have completed a supervised professional entry phase, and who committed to the ethical standards of professional practice, on which the EFPIA member associations have agreed.

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