Possible new career: clinical psychology? What do I need to know?
April 24, 2014 8:14 AM Subscribe
I currently have a career completely unrelated to clinical psychology, although it seems like a career path I'd like to investigate at the very least for multiple reasons. I'm interested in psychotherapy in particular. For people who work in the field, do you have anything to share about your line of work that isn't immediately obvious to outsiders? And what sort of person is best suited for this career? My personal interests are listed after the jump.
posted by Hawk V to Work & Money (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The personal reasons I have are:
1. There is a strong need for it in my current country of work and residence (mental health awareness is only starting to take hold in the Philippines, also there is much grief counseling required for survivors of natural disasters and so on).
2. I have a personal interest in it, having dealt with major depression and generalized anxiety for most of my life. My time in therapy, coupled with self-education and meditation has been healing and transformative. People in my own personal circles tend to ask me about mental health resources first before they consult others.
3. I find people's life stories fascinating, more fascinating than fiction. I'm analytical and reflective, and tend to go deeply into a conversation topic. Many people of all walks of life confide in me, and I find that listening to their problems is deeply enriching rather than draining. And knowing that I've helped them work through some tough issues and them coming out healthier for it is one of the best feelings around.
4. While I take a great interest in people, I also have a healthy sense of personal boundaries. After a heavy conversation, I don't tend to worry or ruminate over that person's problems anymore. After we've stopped talking, it's a bit out of sight out of mind as I get distracted with my own life.
5. I am an extravert and I gain energy from interacting with people, even if they are distraught.
6. My own unique background may be of value to the local population here, and perhaps to other populations if I decide to relocate back to Canada. I am a queer woman of colour with an immigrant background, belonging to three cultures, hyper-aware of intersectionality, and learned the art of navigating different cultures and contradictory expectations.
I am in my mid-20s, and have a BA in a completely unrelated field. But I have the time and money for the appropriate schooling, so long as I figure out whether this career path right is for me.
So what is your work experience like, and does it sound like this is career path is worthwhile for me to investigate? Is there a way I can shadow therapists and see them at work (while I'm not the patient) or is that against confidentiality rules?
Thanks in advance!