It is well known that the field of psychology is very diverse because the human mind and human behaviour are very complex. Psychology touches every area of our lives—work, family, relationships, and mental and physical health. Based on the application of psychology in different areas of human life, different streams of professional psychology have been developed, such as clinical psychology, counselling psychology, organizational/industrial psychology, child psychology, military psychology, sports psychology and forensic psychology. Let us know more about these streams.
Clinical psychologists diagnose, understand and treat psychological disorders using psychotherapy. The reason is that often the medication given by the psychiatrist to the patient is not enough to fully treat a psychological disorder, and the patient requires psychotherapy by the clinical psychologist to be able to cope with the psychological disorder. However, clinical psychologists do not deal with the people suffering from major mental health issues. They work in hospitals, drug rehabilitation centres, NGOs,etc. Earlier an M.Phil.in clinical psychology wasrequired to start practicing as a clinical psychologist. Under the just announced new education policy, the name of this degree is likely to change. The students interested in making a career in clinical psychology need a minimum of master’s degree in clinical psychology. Given the growing mental health issues in our society, the demand for clinical psychologists is expected to rise.
Organizational/industrial psychologists apply the principles of psychology to tackle workplace issues. They work to make organizations and industries more efficient. They study workplace issues at the individual, group and organizational levels and develop modules to solve these issues. The students who specialize in organizational behaviour can work as human resource development specialists, organizational consultants, HR managers and training specialists, etc. Today organizations are investing a lot on evaluating emotional and social intelligence of their employees. Organizational and industrial psychologists have a good career prospects as they are equipped to help organizations train their employees on these new-age skills such as emotional intelligence and ability to work in teams. Students can get jobs after B.A (H) or M.A in psychology along with a diploma course in organizational psychology.
The field of child psychology has a great potential in India because so far it has not got the required attention from parents as well as psychologists. In the last few decades, childhood developmental disorders have tripled thus underlining the growing need for the services of child psychologists. Child psychologists deal with psychomotor, cognitive, emotional and social development of children and infants. They mostly work in child therapy centres, schools, and NGOs. Those trained to impart special education help the kids with special needs. For example, children with learning disabilities or autistic children or children with brain impairment can greatly become functional with use of psychological training and therapy.For becoming a child psychologist, you need a minimum of master’sdegree in child psychology or a master’s in special education.
Psychology has become an important part of sports. Sportspersons’ performance is affected a great deal by their mental conditioning. A sports psychologist works to improve the mental conditioning of a sportsperson, particularly an athlete. A sports psychologist studies the factors that can impact an athlete’s performance. These include cognitive, emotional, motivational and physiological factors. Sports psychologists generally work with sports coaching centres, sports teams, sports academies and leagues.
Today winning sports events gives the winners and their managers or team managements instant fame and rich rewards. Therefore, team managements take the services of sports psychologists along with coaches and physical trainers to enhance the performance of their sportspersons.
Sports psychology is relatively new in India but is expected to grow at an exponential rate.For practicing as a sports psychologist, a master’s in sports psychology is required. The Sports Authority of India provides research fellowships for psychologists; to avail this student need a master’s in psychology and must qualify for national eligibility test (NET) qualification.
Forensic psychology is relatively new in India. It has application in legal and judicial systems, especially in the context of witness testimony and custody issues.Forensic psychologists try to understand the psychology of criminals and the intent behind crimes. They have an important role to decide thenature of sentencing for criminals. In conflicts between spouses where child custody is an issue, the role of forensic psychologists is very important. For becoming a forensic psychologist, you need a minimum of M.Phil. in Forensic Psychology (the name of this degree will change from M. Phil.). Also, with the expected improvement in the judicial system, forensic psychologists are expected to play an important role in legal policymaking.