5 things to know before studying criminal psychology

Criminal psychology, like forensic science, has grown tremendously in recent years. This is why university demand has also increased, especially in countries like Spain, Mexico and Argentina. It is a sub-discipline that over time has provided us with very valuable information about the psychological reasons that lead a person to commit an illegal act.

The mere idea of ​​studying criminal psychology can be very appealing and lead many people to choose this specialization. However, it is always helpful to enter these types of training programs knowing something about this branch of psychology.

Factors to Consider Before Following Criminal Psychology

Whether you want to study for a master’s degree, a specialty, or a degree, here are five factors to consider before starting your course.

1. Criminal psychology or forensic psychology? the differences

The first thing you need to clear in your mind before taking this course is: Do you want to study criminal psychology or forensic psychology? Contrary to what a large majority think, the two branches are not the same, although they do have some similarity to each other.

While criminal psychology is responsible for trying to understand the criminal, to disentangle the psychological causes that motivate him to perpetrate his acts, to draw up criminological profiles and to estimate how to intervene so that he does not reoffend; the main tasks of forensic psychology are to request, analyze and present evidence of a psychological nature for the clarification of a judicial process; that is to say a psychological expertise.

If you are interested in learning more about the differences between criminal psychology and forensic psychology, it can be very helpful to check out this article.

2. Why do I want to study this sub-discipline?

Like what happens when it comes to developing research, we need to define the topic. It is essential to be perfectly clear about why you want to study this branch of psychology.This way you can get the most out of the course and still be motivated to work.

Are you interested in participating in the study of the phenomenon of crime and its causes? Or what is it that really calls you to clarify whether or not a person can be convicted of a felony for suffering from a mental disorder ?. If you answered “yes” to the second question, chances are you are in forensic psychology.

Of course, this is just a vague example of the hard work of the two. But it’s worth clarifying early on what work you would like to do so that you know what you’re about to study will help you get there.

3. What conditions must I meet?

If so far you are already more certain that criminal psychology is yours, You may be wondering now what are the requirements for the different universities to pursue your masters degree, Specialty or diploma. It goes without saying that each university applies for different subjects and requirements, but unless you decide to take the bachelor’s degree with the full specialty (i.e. the bachelor’s degree in criminal psychology), the universities Usually only ask you to have a previous degree in psychology (and if it’s clinical, better) for masters and specialties case.

In the case of graduates, in many cases, they only ask that your job performance be tied; in this way, lawyers, penologists and criminologists can also take it.

3. What will my skills be at the end of the course?

Some of the tasks you can do after majoring in criminal psychology are: give opinions in criminal psychology, work as a prison psychologist to help with the social reintegration of criminals, Provide care and help prevent violence (for example in the community, at school or in the workplace), intervene in psychological emergencies and provide first aid to criminals and antisocial subjects in situations of risk, carry out criminological profiles in criminal research agencies, assess and quantify violence and develop psychological prevention methods, among others.

4. Is it like in TV series?

The most immediate answer to this question is a resounding NO.. The series has not only been responsible for spreading a huge, false fantasy halo around criminal psychologists, who are seen as fortune tellers who are perfectly capable of understanding anything they think and will make a criminal just by seeing. the “modus operandi” of this, but they have also stigmatized the general prison population by encouraging the use of stereotypes among certain types of criminals, making every criminal look like a brutal and sadistic bloodthirsty being, as reality draws away many of these concepts.

5. Is this course really for me?

Finally, this is the most important question of all: Is this specialty / master / course really for you? Being a psychologist is a daunting task and a very big responsibility, but it is even more true when it comes to getting into the minds of criminals. To close this last point and also as a means of reflection, perhaps these questions will help you to reaffirm whether criminal psychology is yours:

  • Are you ready to enter the remotest passages of the human mind to understand why a subject one day decides to commit a crime?
  • Would you like to issue opinions in criminal psychology to determine which psychological factors led “X” to commit a crime?
  • Do you see yourself living together on work days apart from different types of criminals and getting rid of prejudices?
  • Are you going to study this career, not because of the morbidity engendered by the study of antisocials, but to help society and in particular criminals who want to reintegrate into society?

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