Psychology inspires more and more young students to choose it as their field of study at university. These individuals are becoming the future therapists, psychiatrists, professors or… end up doing something completely unrelated to psychology. Nonetheless, psychology graduates receive an unusual amount of attention. They studied what's inside of our heads after all! They must surely know how it all works; and so here are three assumptions about psychology students and the reality behind studying the human mind.
Mind readers It is a common assumption that once a student has been awarded with a diploma in psychology, he suddenly possesses the ability to read your thoughts. Studying psychology is not like studying engineering or law. There is no one clear formula for understanding emotions. While there are certain patterns in human behaviour and thinking, graduating with a psychology degree does not mean you know to the last detail how the human brain works. Behavioural patterns are closely connected to one’s personality and environment. In the majority of psychology research, the conclusions are based on facts and numbers just like in any other science. Statistics is a crucial and mandatory part of any psychology course and most of the supposed psychoanalysis actually happens in statistical programmes (#weloveSPSS).
Freud superfans Although this might come as a surprise, not all psychologists are fans nor followers of the mighty Freud. Psychology is very diverse. There are numerous theories, styles of therapies and areas a psychologist can work in. For example, a therapist might specialise in couples counselling, addiction or learning disabilities of children. Just imagine a child therapist trying to resolve a major marriage crisis. It would be like going to the dentist and complaining your foot hurts.
Family therapists I am sorry to burst your bubble but the reality is that psychologists are human. Although, they might have spent the past years studying about resolving conflicts or effective communication, it does not mean they are qualified to deal with all of your problems. Resolving family conflict definitely should not be left to the mercy of the family psychology student (you know every family has at least one). Dealing with conflicts of people, with whom the psychologist is emotionally involved, is setting everybody up for failure. It's even a part of the psychologists' ethics code. Emotions are irrational and subjective. To be able to rationally deal with emotional problems, the psychologists need to be emotionally detached from the situation at hand.
Fortunately or unfortunately, psychologists do not possess any superpowers. They are mortals just like you, simply trying to understand the incomprehensible and chaotic human mind. As if dealing with one’s own emotions was not hard enough, psychology students, graduates and professionals have the courage to (at least try to) deal with your emotional mess too. People might say that the psychologists are the crazy ones but the truth is, we are all crazy in our own special ways. At least from a scientific point of view, the psychologists are trying to deal with it.