As resident psychology student/person of the student blogger team, I feel it is my responsibility to alert you all to the existence of National Psych Week. From the 9th-15th of November, National Psych Week aimed to raise awareness of how psychology and counselling can serve as important tools to improve our mental health and overall emotional well being.
Even before uni was a contemplation in my mind I have always been interested in psychology, the exploration of human behaviour and the human condition. In honesty, this interest was probably inspired by a pre-mature exposure to TV shows like Criminal Minds and Lie to Me where elaborate psychological analysis is REALLY KOOL and saves the child from being brutally murdered. However, upon actually study of the subject (for like grades and degrees and stuff) many of my preconceived ideas of what psychology ‘is’ have been unceremoniously debunked. I will share 3 of these revelations with you now.
1. FREUD’S THEORIES ARE NOT STILL HELD TO BE ACCURATE ! The dude came up with these theories in the 1800’s and came into mainstream not by deep critical analysis or factual evidence – but by people nodding and saying ‘that’s interesting – I too have a strange relationship with my mother, that must be the answer to EVERYTHING ! ‘ As it turns out, not everything can be explained by sex, unconscious desires or your relationship with your mother. Which is not to say that Freud was a crack-pot. His theories were revolutionary for his time and even now provide a foundation for human sexuality, dreams and human development. Psychology (like all sciences) is not concrete fact. It is ever changing, building on previous theories with fresh studies and access to new research. What may be held as a diagnosable disorder today, in 10 years may be discovered as rather a symptom of a greater issue. But generally, when confronted by a non-psych student who reports that psychology is all about Freud and lying on couch my response falls somewhere near –
2. Psychology is actually really science-y. It’s really science-y. There is a lot of statistics, a lot of independent values, a lot of lab reports and experiments, and a lot of hypotheses which can never be 100% proven correct. A lot less contemplating theories of human emotion in a vague, intellectual way whilst being seated in cushy arm-chair with a whisky glass full of Ribena. Sometimes this makes me sad.
3. A Psychology degree does not = qualified psychologist. Becoming a psychologist is by no means an easy path. This is probably for the best, because in no way do you want someone to be messing with your mind unless they are ridiculously qualified. To become a registered psychologist one must first complete an undergraduate degree, then complete an extra year of honours, then either decide to undertake further masters studies/PHD or extensive internships to achieve general registration, then after achieving general registration must undertake a further supervised practice, before finally becoming a registered psychologist. That being said, a psychology degree opens up many different career pathways than just ‘psychologist’, for instance; social worker, counsellor, public health, human services, Human Resources and Policy. As a law/Psych student I can also testify that it is very complimentary in a double degree – particularly in people focused careers.
As I have already mentioned in my previous post for Mental Health Week, QUT offers a variety of professional psychology and counselling services at either no charge, or a highly affordable price. Recently, in collaboration with the White Cloud Foundation our QUT Health Clinics have established a multidisciplinary clinic for women experiencing, or at risk of experiencing pre/post natal depression. Women in the Clinic for Expecting and New Mothers have access to specialist treatment at no cost, from an accredited Psychologist, Social Worker, Nurse, Exercise Physiologist and Dietician. For further information or to make a booking, contact the QUT Health Clinics – Psychology and Counselling on 3138 0999.