You just finished college and you want to establish yourself as a psychologist but have no idea where to start, you’re not alone. Here we have the wise Noha El Nahas owner of Heal Counseling Center to answer most of the questions that must be buzzing in your head right now about becoming a successful psychologist.
Right after studying psychology in college, what’s the first step I can take to further my career?
I would advise before pursuing a career to take a brief pause to re-think and re-evaluate the aims and goals of your life in order to start with a confident attitude towards your choice. As to answer the question, the first step is to make a thorough research, meet people from the field, ask questions and hear different experiences before choosing a graduate program that suits your interest.
Is there any way I can be a psychologist if I didn’t study it in college? (Courses or classes to certify me)?
You cannot be a psychologist without a degree. People cannot buy books and study on their own. They need to cover essential materials, undergo intense training and receive constant supervision before becoming professionals. On the other hand, anyone could attend classes and seminars for general knowledge and self-improvement but not for professional purposes.
How can I spread the word about my practice, it’s difficult when you are a Doctor to have a social media account and such?
A good practitioner gets known even without much publicity and this is mainly through word of mouth and people’s reviews. Meanwhile, there is nothing wrong to promote your services like any other profession. I have many students and people who follow my posts on Facebook and It actually makes me happy to know that I could reach anyone and spread my thoughts through other ways than booking sessions with me or attending my classes.
Do I have to have my own practice or is it okay to work in someone else’s practice?
You can do both but having your own practice is a lot of responsibility and requires solid experience. I would always advise young practitioners to start working with someone first then take the next step. I wouldn’t encourage fresh therapists to work on their own at the beginning of their career.
Can I work as a psychologist at a school or any other institute?
School counseling is financially very rewarding and great exposure and experience. Also, teaching psychology in schools is such a great thing for any psychologist. Psychologists from my opinion could work in several fields not only restricted to Psychology, it really depends on what you need to do with your life. You could work in development, schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, academia even marketing and sales hire people with a psychology background.