Psychology is the study of human behavior and mind. Psychology includes both cognitive and emotional aspects, and the study of thought and emotions. It’s an incredibly vast field of academic scope, spanning the boundaries between science and the humanities, natural and medical sciences, and social and cultural practices. There are many areas of focus within psychology.
Clinical psychology deals with the understanding and treatment of clinical disorders. These could include mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder. Counseling psychology focuses on how to effectively deal with people who have behavioral issues. The focus is not so much on diagnosing these problems but on offering assistance for behavioral problems.
Counseling psychology is one of four main sub-specialties of psychology. This sub-specialty is known as human behavior and psychology. Within this larger field is a number of subtopics that fall into specific areas of focus. These areas are then divided into distinct categories. These categories are then further categorized into different branches.
There are many different concentrations within counseling psychology. Some of the most common focuses are clinical, personality, developmental, social, and cognitive psychology. All of these different areas of focus to deal with different behaviors and mental processes. People who major in counseling psychology majors will learn a variety of techniques that they can apply to their personal lives. Some of the more common techniques used within clinical psychology are cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation therapy, and habit reversal training.
Some other areas of focus within clinical psychology include neuropsychology, which studies the relationship between physical and mental health and illness. Counseling psychologists also specialize in family systems therapy and work with families in crisis. Other areas of focus in psychology are forensic psychology and school psychology.
While the above three focus areas all share some common elements, each one has its own focus of practice. For example, psychologists working in the cognitive therapy area to teach people how to think and act in certain situations. They help patients to analyze their own behaviors and circumstances. They help clients understand why certain thoughts or actions have led to negative reactions in others. Forensic psychologists study crimes committed in the course of an event and try to determine if criminal activity was preformed due to an abnormal psychological state or motive.
Most psychologists have a special area of specialization. A few examples of these specialized areas of study are child development, forensic psychology, couples therapy, and industrial therapy. Many psychologists also have areas of specialization within their main practice in order to better serve their clients. For example, marriage and family therapists often focus on issues surrounding marital and familial relationships.
In addition to the areas discussed above, there are many other specialized sub-specialties in clinical psychology. Some psychologist even specialize in completely different areas of psychology such as trauma, post traumatic stress, eating disorders, parenting, and social behaviors. There are many interesting areas of specialization within psychology that are just waiting to be explored by psychology students interested in a career in that particular area. For example, one could become a child psychologist, working with children who have been emotionally, physically, or sexually abused in their childhood.
Forensic psychology is one sub-specialty within clinical psychology that is gaining more attention. This type of psychology deals only with cases that involve the criminal behavior of a person who has been deceased. Examples of these cases include criminal homicide, suicide, accidents, sexual assault, and child abuse. Forensic psychologists frequently collaborate with psychiatrists and clinical psychologists in the field of clinical psychology. Forensic psychologists often work in hospitals and laboratories, helping to determine the cause of a patient’s tragic death.
Perhaps the most interesting area of specialization within forensic psychology is the forensic pathology area of psychology. This is a sub-specialty that involves looking at all forms of criminal behavior. Common pathological conditions that forensic psychology looks at include: icide, poisoning, child abuse and neglect, ritualistic and satanic crimes, road rage, spree killing, suicide, and Missing persons. This sub-specialty of psychology also often involves collaborating with police departments in the nation’s many cities. The goal of a forensic psychologist is to help the police determine and document the circumstances surrounding the crime and then to present those findings in court as helpful tools to the victims, their families, and the community.
Professional organizations that focus on forensic psychology exist throughout the country. These organizations provide training, resources, and an overall community of support for people who have difficulties dealing with mental health issues. These professionals are invaluable in the fight against criminals; however they are not police officers and cannot arrest a person for a crime they do not commit. Because of this, psychologists can be an invaluable resource to the public when investigating crime, identifying behaviors related to certain crimes, and helping the public understand the disorder that exists behind some seemingly harmless or deviant behavior.
A great example of a psychologist who specializes in forensic psychology is William James. A famous philosopher and psychologist who became one of the first British psychotherapists, James argued that all mental illness was a result of abnormal and unhealthy behavior. Like all psychologists before him, James came to the conclusion that there were underlying structural causes for human behavior and that explanations for individual actions could be more complex than simple psychological ones. As a result, he developed a list of ten disorders, which he called the “mental diseases,” and which he called the “psychological diseases.”