The field of psychology studies how the human mind functions and what kind of impact it has on our behavior.
But not all professionals who call themselves psychologists perform the same role in society.
They perform many different functions, and each role has a unique impact on the community or individual they work with.
Below is a list of 5 key roles psychologists perform in today's society.
1. Clinical psychologists.
Clinical psychologists work with individuals who suffer from severe mental health disorders.
Generally, you will find clinical psychologists working full time in mental health institutions, such as the Institute of Mental Health in Singapore.
You need to have extensive credentials and training in order to become a clinical psychologist, and if you do, you will make a big difference in the lives of many people.
Clinical psychologists can perform many functions such as identifying and diagnosing mental health disorders, researching and finding out previously unknown information about these disorders, and helping patients who suffer from those mental health disorders become functioning members of society.
This type of work can be very tiring and intellectually demanding, but it is, without a doubt, essential.
2. School psychologist.
School psychologists are health care professionals who work with children and teenagers in educational settings.
They help their patients overcome academic, as well as social and emotional problems by helping them develop their problem-solving skills, teaching them how to manage their anger and self-regulate; they also help them develop successful communication strategies.
The school psychologists cannot achieve those goals by themselves; they have to partner with children's families as well as teachers and even school administrators.
The aim of a school psychologist is to create a supportive, safe, and healthy learning environment for the students and help them cope with the stress induced by academic demands.
In order to do this, they have to be highly qualified with an advanced graduate degree. In addition, they have to do practical exercises that are relevant to the fields of psychology and education.
School psychologists usually hold either a specialist-level degree or a doctoral degree. Both of these degree programs include 1200 hours of supervised Internship, which lasts for one year.
Currently, children at school are experiencing a variety of difficulties that did not even exist 30 or 40 years ago ( cyberbullying, for example), so the school psychologists are in high demand.
3. Health psychologist.
Briefly speaking, health psychologists help individuals get rid of harmful habits that are detrimental to their mental health. These harmful habits can be caused by biological or environmental factors.
Health psychologists teach their patients about the benefits of mental health and what steps they can take in order to lead a healthier lifestyle, which will ultimately make them happier and fulfilled.
Many health psychologists are also involved in research and try to figure out the best ways to promote mental health.
In addition, some health psychologists try to influence the government to pass legislation that will promote mental health.
They lobby government agencies to push the agenda of mental health. They also advise certain governmental bodies to push for healthcare reforms, and they bring awareness to inequalities in mental health care.
Health psychologists can work in hospitals, healthcare clinics, universities, government, or private corporations.
4. Cognitive psychologist.
Cognitive psychologists are mental health professionals who try to understand how human beings think.
More often than not, cognitive psychologists will work as researchers either in academic centers or research centers; in addition, they will conduct lectures to psychology students and assist doctoral candidates with their dissertations.
Overall they are most interested in such topics as retaining memories, reasoning, visual perception, and others. Cognitive psychologists usually specialize in one area.
These areas include psycholinguistics, the psychology of reasoning, cognitive engineering, cognitive neuroscience, cognitive modeling, aging and cognition, and more.
By specializing in one of these areas, cognitive psychologists are able to understand better how we form memories, why we have memory disorders, problems connected with reading comprehension, visual perception, motivation, and language development, as well as the relationships that exist between decision-making and emotions.
In order to have a successful career as a cognitive psychologist, one must, of course, have a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology. After attaining their Ph.D., cognitive psychologists can be employed in non-profit organizations, government (at both state and federal level) various corporations, or even the military.
Due to all of these factors, cognitive psychologists play a crucial role in contemporary society.
5. Consumer psychologists.
Consumer psychologists are just as important in contemporary society, although they are not as well-known as other types of psychologists. Consumer psychologists are the architects behind the consumerism.
They usually construct marketing or advertising campaigns and determine how popular a particular product or a service is among consumers, and they track behavioral patterns of buyers.
In addition to this, they also know how the media functions and all the major contemporary cultural trends. Knowledge of consumer psychologists has a crucial impact on the success of businesses.
For this reason, they work very closely with economists and retailers. The services consumer psychologists provide can be especially useful when the economy is in the slump because their knowledge and expertise can help governments and corporations encourage consumers, and put the economy back on track.
In general, psychologists of all types play a crucial role in today's world, and their influence can be felt in many private as well as public sectors. Each type of psychologist is important and contributes to the development of our world in many different ways.
Psychology has undoubtedly had an impact on your life, even if you were not aware of it.
And more and more people nowadays are knowingly seeking the help of mental health professionals who will help them work through some challenges, and guide them through difficult and unclear situations.
In the twenty-first century, the stigma of seeking a psychologist’s help has almost disappeared, so if you feel that you could benefit from their guidance, you can look online for a licensed therapist in your area or get more information from BetterHelp for useful information on psychology-related resources.