The study of psychology can take you in so many different directions. From working with emotional and behavioral disorders to working in non-clinical environments such as research and business, the possibilities are endless. In this series of blogs, I am going to break down some of the top fields of psychology and offer an overview of what a psychologist in that field does.
One of the most common fields of is clinical psychology. This large branch of psychology focuses on diagnosing and treating emotional, mental, and behavioral disorders. Clinical psychologists will see patients that have a variety of disorders but commonly work with patients suffering from learning disabilities, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and eating disorders. Clinical psychologists are responsible for observing, interviewing, and running a variety of tests that diagnose potential disorders and then formulating a treatment program.
Developmental psychology is a branch that studies growth, change, and consistency through the lifespan. Developmental psychologists further explore how we grow and adapt to different life stages and conduct research designed to help people reach their full potential. The primary goal of this branch is to describe, explain and optimize development. One example of this branch includes studying babies who are not meeting developmental expectations and working with parents and doctors to get back on track with normal development.
Another popular field is forensic psychology, where licensed psychologists work with the law. Forensic psychologists often play a role in punishing and preventing crimes by observing, questioning, and interpreting human behavior. Often seen as the merger of psychology and the law, forensic psychologists help judges, attorneys, and other areas of criminal justice to solve law cases. Forensic psychologists often serve as expert witnesses in court cases as well as study children or defendants in particular cases.
Sports psychology is the branch that addresses athlete performance and well-being. Sports psychologists research and examine athlete’s optimal performance levels as well as developmental and social aspects of sports participation. There are a variety of reasons why an athlete may see a sports psychologists including to enhance performance, cope with competition pressure, keep up with exercise or to recover from injuries. While a coach’s primary focus is on the physical side of the sport, a sports psychologist focuses on athlete’s mind.
These are just four of the many different types of psychologists and jobs fields within the study of psychology. Be sure to check back soon to learn about four new types and the specifics of those psychology fields!