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One of the most important decisions we make in our life is the choice of the career because it is not only about what we are going to study, but about the person we want to become. A career changes us. That is why we must choose a profession that we are passionate about and helps us to bring to light our best part.
Psychology is one of those careers. In addition, if we decide to study Psychology we have the possibility to choose a specialization in some of the areas most in demand today: Clinical and Health Psychology, Psychology and Education, Criminology and Work and Organizational Psychology.
Why is it a good idea to study Psychology?
1. It opens a window to self-discovery
As we delve into the different approaches to human development, the impact of culture on our behavior and the unconscious mechanisms that govern some of our decisions, we learn to know ourselves better. Studying Psychology is a journey of self-discovery, an adventure of personal deconstruction that will allow us to discover our true needs and desires, giving us at the same time the tools to reach our goals.
2. It helps us to better understand the others
Carl Rogers, a pioneer along with Abraham Maslow of the humanistic approach to Psychology, said: “When I look at the world I am pessimistic, but when I look at people I am optimistic.” There is no doubt that studying Psychology helps us to better understand people. Knowing the motivations, emotions and beliefs that guide their behaviors allows us to put ourselves in their place, assume a more empathetic attitude and, above all, focus on their potential, rather than on errors or defects. This change in perspective allows us to maintain more constructive and satisfactory relationships.
3. It teaches us not to judge
One of the fundamental principles of Psychology lies in not judging the person in front of us. All value judgments set apart. Acceptance, on the contrary, approaches. Psychology teaches us to listen without judging and accompanying without invading. The ability to face reality without making value judgments allows us to face situations without preconceptions or prejudices, which will help us to develop a more objective, rational and mature perspective.
4. It improves our communication skills
“You’ve never been taught how to talk with your gestures, but you were taught to speak with words”, said Paul Ekman, one of the first Psychologists to study the facial expression of emotions. Psychology, however, allows us to take advantage of the enormous potential of communication, both verbally and extra-verbally. We learn communicative techniques that will allow us to maintain a more assertive dialogue and resolve any type of interpersonal conflict. We also learn to better structure our arguments, discuss clearly a topic and develop active listening, a skill as essential as rare in our times, which implies showing genuine interest in the interlocutor and validating his emotions.
5. It develops critical thinking
“Never think you know everything. As high as you value, always have the courage to tell yourself: I am an ignorant”, said Ivan Pavlov, Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology. Psychology is a career that stimulates critical thinking and reflection. Studying the influence of the society, culture and groups on personality encourages us to question all the things we had taken for granted, developing a less conditioned thinking that allows us to see life from a broader and more enriching perspective.
6. It makes a difference in people’s lives
When people go to a Psychologist, they usually go through a state of emotional vulnerability. As Psychologists, we have the ability to make an important difference in their lives. In fact, that is precisely one of the greatest challenges and satisfactions of this profession. It doesn’t matter if we help a person get out of depression, an athlete who is preparing for a competition or a child who needs to overcome his phobias, we can do our part so the lives of these people are fuller.
7. It provides different perspectives for the future
To Psychology, nothing human is alien. That means that its wake is present wherever people are, which greatly expands the universe of job opportunities. Beyond Clinical Psychology there are other equally fascinating branches that aim to achieve that people can give their best in the different spheres of their lives. That means we can take a Degree in Psychology and then, according to our interests, specialize in one branch or another.