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kilog

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Oct 25, 2006
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Pre-Psychology
What I think is a wise thing to do when considering a career in psychology (or any field for that matter) is to gain some direct exposure to the paths available so that one can try to gauge how their professional time will actually be spent. An easy comparison that comes to mind is accompanying a physician on rounds at a hospital if you are considering an MD/DO program, though I know there are plenty of other examples. Given the nature of psychology, however, I have the impression that gaining the same kind of exposure can be tricky. One helpful resource that I've discovered is working at a crisis/suicide hotline (especially if one is considering being a clinician). It doesn't require a great deal of training, and, while the responsibility is accordinly small, it's a great opportunity to put yourself in a position where you are listening to people express their emotions and learning more about how you feel/respond in those kinds of situations. Another interesting resource is actually being a patient in therapy. While I'm sure there are many arguments about how necessary or helpful this can be in the described context, I was struck to learn about current graduate students who have never been patients themselves. It seems intuitive to entertain the idea that learning about the therpeutic experience from the other side of the fence can provide valuable perspective to an aspiring clinician.

These two examples aside, I'm wondering what experiences anyone else has had that have shed light on the day-to-day of what it would be like to be a psychologist, whether it's "shadowing," working/volunteering in applicable settings, or anything that anyone has found helpful in providing insight. Given the incredible amount of very different opporutnities that exists within this field, it can sometimes seem daunting to try to sort through all the options one might have. I think the sharing of such information would be a valuable resource for helping some do what I feel is somewhat underrated: finding situations where one can actually experience different areas of the profession before committing their careers to the field (not that you have to know everything before you do anything or that you can't revise/resubmit along the way, but you get my drift...)

Thanks.
 
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