May 17th, 2010
Psychology and psychotherapy have come a long way since the early days of Freud and Pavlov’s early experiments. Since this point in time, we have been introduced to new psychology methods, as well as a new understanding of the human brain and emotions. In an uncertain economic world, it is comforting for psychology students to know that despite appearances, psychology is an ever-changing discipline that will consistently offer career opportunities to graduating students.
Psychology has quickly overtaken psychiatry as a leading contender in the study of mental functions and behavior. Many people have now chosen to wean themselves away from mood-altering drugs and instead to work through their problems with the help of a psychologist. It additionally seems like the modern world has brought with it a slew of new emotional issues, ranging from anxiety to schizophrenia, many common in more people than you would think. While new drug prescriptions offer a “quick fix” for many psychological problems, most will not dissipate completely without the help of a psychologist or psychotherapist who can help the patient get inside the root of the problem.
While advances in technology have meant big waves throughout our civilization, they have also brought with them new forms of stress, deadlines, and anxiety. More people than ever before now have psychologists in order to deal with problems they cannot discuss with those close to them. This trend does not appear to be dissipating anytime soon, and therefore psychology careers remain safe from the results of the recession. The era has passed when most people assumed psychologists were simply set on “making up” illnesses, rather than treating emotional problems, and people now trust psychologists explicitly to get them through difficult times in life. Many of us do not know what we would do without our weekly or monthly visit to the psychologist, something that has become almost as routine as a doctor’s visit.
Additionally, the field of psychology has changed so that nearly everybody feels comfortable talking to a psychologist: it is no longer perceived as an “elitist” fad. While some forms of psychology may be more “New Age” than others, the abundance of career choices is the direct result of the new popularity the discipline has encountered over the past year. Many people still base their faith in psychiatrists and the ability of prescription drugs to handle their problems, but psychologists have become the top alternative to this type of treatment, and can help many more people who do not wish to treat their symptoms with drugs.