Psychology Overview Psychologists are on the forefront of research studies on depression, stress reduction, pain control, substance abuse treatment, anxiety, and phobias. Their work has led to monumental advances in diagnosing and treating psychological problems, and has helped Americans achieve good psychological and physical health.
Health means different things to different people. Generally speaking, however, psychologically healthy people enjoy life and feel good about themselves, are comfortable with other people, have satisfying relationships, meet most of life's challenges, and enjoy their jobs or school. However, coping with the stress of modern life can sometimes be too much to handle. This is one of the instances where psychological services can help.
One of the most important services psychologists provide is therapy. During therapy, the psychologist helps the client objectively look at behaviors, feelings, and thoughts in different situations in order to develop solutions to deal with those situations. Therapy is a collaborative effort, where the psychologist and his or her client identify goals, decide what they want to happen, and agree on how they will know when progress is being made.
Psychologists are active in nearly every sector of our society, from health to law, and sports to art. One of the areas where psychologists are increasingly visible is in the workplace. They extend their expertise in human behavior to corporate, business, and organizational settings, and provide assistance to individuals and groups on the psychological aspects of their work.
Clearly, psychology is working. Nine out of ten Americans surveyed by Consumer Reports said that therapy helped them. In another major national study, half the patients studied were making improvement after eight sessions of therapy, three-quarters after six months of therapy. Through a scientific base of knowledge, psychologists have contributed to understanding human behavior and alleviating pain and suffering.
California psychologists spend an average of 7.2 years on their doctoral degrees in addition to their undergraduate education. A year of supervised post-doctoral psychological training is required before taking a national written proficiency test and a state-administered oral exam to acquire a license to practice as a psychologist in the state.
Psychologists help millions of Americans of all ages find solutions to the challenges of everyday life.