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Psychology 101: What You Need To Know About Psychologists

Ms. Nida Ghani

2 min read

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Defined as the science of the mind and behavior, psychology was first recognized as an independent field of study in 1879 by German scientist Wilhelm Wundt, also known as ‘The Father of Psychology’; psychologists are professionals that have gained an education and some experience in this field. Here’s a brief glimpse at one of the rapidly rising medical professions in Pakistan:

Who is a Psychologist?

Psychologists are ‘social scientists’ whose core duty is to promote good mental health and an accurate understanding of it through a detailed study on human behaviour and mental processes. To become certified professionals, a B.Sc., M.Sc. and GRE Test-for further specialisation-in Psychology are required.

Psychologists also study the interrelationship of humans with their environment and provide relevant diagnoses for individual patients or research-backed theories for societal improvement.

Their Main Duties:

A psychologist is concerned with mental well-being and the identification and diagnosis of factors that endanger it. The general process is listening to their patients, administering personality, aptitude, vocational and other tests for accurate evaluation and developing a therapeutic treatment plan, with the assistance of other specialists-usually psychiatrists-in case administering medication is required. They usually conduct scientific research and studies about behaviour and brain functions, and test for patterns that will allow them to better comprehend and predict patterns in patients. They may opt to supervise interns, counseling professionals and clinicians as well.

Conditions They Treat:

Psychologists not only treat developmental disorders such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), but also help people recover from trauma, substance addiction, stress and anxiety as well as personality and self-esteem issues. They also provide relationship counselling and anger management advice.

Treatments They Employ:

Since they are not medical doctors, and hence, unqualified for medicinal treatment, psychologists often collaborate with psychiatrists where mental health disorders such as ‘schizophrenia’-which require clinical treatment-are concerned.

They instead focus on using different forms of therapy to uncover and help deal with or treat the social aspects affecting a patient’s mental condition, which include:

  • Cognitive Therapies
  • Behavioral Therapies
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies
  • Interpersonal Therapies
  • Humanistic Therapies
  • Psycho-dynamic Therapies
  • or a combined set of any of the above, as required.

Types of Psychologists:

All psycho-specialists are trained as clinical psychologists, with further specializations being:

Research Psychologists:

They work on entire populations and aim to understand the functioning of memory, thought and perception through lab tests and live trials.

Counselling Psychologists:

They usually work in schools and hospitals and aim to foster mental well-being and personal growth through individual and group counselling. Their primary focus is to make people realize their strengths and to equip them with the requisite tools required to thrive in a particular setting, be that a domestic or a public one. Social workers can assist individuals to adjust in society, whereas school counselors can assist children in coping with predicaments at school, for instance. Similarly, counselors with a specialization in the treatment of substance abuse can guide individuals through the step-by-step process to rehabilitate themselves.

Neuropsychologists:

They study the effects of brain function on behavioral changes and problems. They can be lab-based or treat neutrally-impaired patients as clinical specialists.

Industrial-Organisational Psychologists:

They apply psychological principles and research in  organizational settings to promote mental health among employees and improve the organizational environment and quality of work life for them. They can act as consultants for top executives, training and development managers to introduce better methods for employee screening, satisfaction, planning policies and developmental plans.

Forensic Psychologists:

They work in legal and criminal environments to provide assistance to legal specialists such as judges and attorneys. They may even testify in court as expert witnesses in ruling out or taking into consideration mental illnesses in crimes. They perform psychological evaluations of law offenders and work with witnesses of crime.

Developmental Psychologists:

They research lifetime behavioral-pattern changes and might focus on certain age groups, such as ‘pediatric psychology’. They also assist with developmental disabilities that older adults face, such as dementia and alzheimers, and issues that come with the process of ageing. 

When Should You Visit a Psychologist?

Aside from PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Bipolar Disorder and major depression sufferers, a visit might also be necessary for those with phobias, unhealthy addictions and unexplained, recurrent headaches. Also consult a specialist if you experience sudden outbursts of anger, severe mood swings or a disconnection with people and surroundings.

Your mental health is just as important as your body. Just like your body needs routine checkups, your mind deserves the same. Let go of social stigma and do not hesitate to book an appointment with a top Psychologist in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad through oladoc.com. Or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor to care for your mental health.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Ms. Nida Ghani - Author Ms. Nida Ghani is a Psychologist practicing in Lahore. Over the last 3 years, she has been helping her patients deal with various mental and psychological conditions. You can get an appointment with her through oladoc.
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