“Man can alter his life by altering his thinking.” - William James

Psychology is a science that involves the study of mental processes and behaviors. Practitioners of Psychology are called Psychologists. They can be classified as social, behavioral or cognitive scientists. A Psychologist is a person who evaluates, diagnoses, studies and treats mental behavior.

Psychologists are required everywhere and in every field. The future of this field is very bright as people have now begun to shun their inhibitions regarding visiting Psychologists for treatment. There is greater awareness about psychological diseases now, which is beneficial for the development of Psychology as a science in India.

What do Psychologists do?

Psychologists are scientists who study mental processes that take place in humans and animals. They study the behavioral pattern of the human mind, and also how the mind thinks, reacts and makes decisions. Their research also includes how injuries to the brain alter these thinking processes.

A Psychologist formulates theories based on his research and subsequently prove them with the help of experiments and statistics. These theories form the basis of a Psychologist’s research and it can take a long time for a Psychologist to come up with a successful theory. Psychologists who focus on research are called Research Psychologists.

Psychologists help people who are suffering from mental disorders. They help them adjust and battle their mental conditions and limitations. They help them overcome their distress and contribute to their overall personality development. Psychologists who specialize in such treatment are called Clinical Psychologists.

Psychologists also study employee behavioral patterns in organizations and companies. They attempt to find ways through which the productivity of employees can increase. They also look to alleviate the factors that cause the productivity to decrease. Psychologists who focus or specialize in such research are called Industrial/Organizational Psychologists.

It is one of the main jobs of a Psychologist to conduct tests and surveys that explain the reasons behind the behavioral pattern of a person. An example of such tests is the IQ (Intelligence Quotient) test. Such tests are extremely beneficial for Psychiatrists as they allow them to make decision regarding the mental state of the patient.

Psychologists also play a major part in helping people get rid of addictions and substance abuse such as smoking and drugs. They provide therapy and support and suggest ways through which people can get rid of their addictions.

What is the difference between a Psychiatrist and a Psychologist?

Though these two are overlapping fields, there is a major difference in the two in terms of their educational backgrounds and also the role they play. Psychiatrists are professional doctors who have studied medicine and can prescribe medicines. Psychologists on the other hand usually have an educational background in the field of arts and do not have the right to prescribe medicines. They normally pursue a PhD in Psychology. In terms of their roles, the main difference between the two lies in their approach. Psychologists treat the patient through psychotherapy and counseling without using medicines. Psychiatrists on the other hand, treat the patient using medicines and occasional psychotherapy. Often, a Psychiatrist recommends a patient to visit a Psychologist in order to receive psychotherapy and counseling.

How to become a Psychologist?

Psychology is a diverse field with diverse approaches. Some choose to practice psychology straight after their basic education, whereas some continue to study even after their Master’s degree. But it is to be kept in mind that in order to become a certified Psychologist, you need to have completed your PhD.

You would concentrate on Arts based subjects and take Psychology after your 10th grade.

Once you’ve completed your schooling, you would do a Bachelor’s in Psychology. There are various colleges that offer psychology courses.

A Master’s degree in Psychology can get you jobs, but it is advisable to study further to get deeper knowledge about the subject. After completing your Master’s, you can start working as a Psychologist in organizations and medical institutions. There might be some organizations that give the top positions to Psychologists who have completed their PhD. So, it is advisable that you pursue a PhD course, especially if your aim is to do independent research in Psychology.

Another way to become a Psychologist is to assist a Psychologist or a Psychiatrist once you complete your Bachelor’s degree. This will help you gain necessary industry experience to advance your career.


Most universities offer psychology courses and excellent education that can help you become a psychologist.

What are the skills required to become a Psychologist?

The job of a Psychologist is tough and requires a lot of mental strength. Psychologists need to be good in reading and writing case – study notes as these notes form the basis of their understanding of the patient. They need to be patient and willing to work at a slow pace. It is absolutely necessary for a Psychologist to possess excellent communication skills. These are essential because most of the times you’re dealing with people who have a problem in communicating their feelings and thoughts openly, so it becomes all the more important to be receptive and responsive. Psychologists need to be empathetic towards their patients and understand their struggles and problems. They need to be loving, kind and friendly so that the patients are comfortable in sharing their feelings. It is important for Psychologists to be non – judgmental and sensitive towards their patients. Psychologists need to be able to work with others as many times they have to work in teams with Psychiatrists for the treatment of the same patient. They need to have good computer skills so that they can design and evaluate tests that will help them know more about the mental state and condition of their patients. Most importantly, a Psychologist should have the desire to help people overcome their difficulties and limitations.

Is this the right career for me?

The life of a Psychologist is focused on the well being of the patients. It is a tough job that requires one to be available seven days a week. Psychologists spend their whole life in offices and clinics dealing with patients and their problems. They often need to keep their personal issues aside and deal with the problems of their patients in an understanding and empathetic manner. Psychologists work very hard on their patients but do not get much appreciation in return.

So if you’re genuinely interested in helping people overcome their problems and if you’re okay with keeping your own problems aside to deal with the problems of your patients, then this is the perfect job for you.

careers with arts, Careers in research

Entrance Exam


Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams, follow their interests & curiosities and see the opportunities in life's setbacks-- including death itself.