Generalist psychologist vs specialist psychologist: how to train better?

At the end of a degree in psychology in the form of a bachelor’s or master’s degree, that feeling of having a laid back, pre-established path to becoming a psychologist disappears. And with that, the experience of being clear about what it takes to become a psychologist with the resources to face the job market also fades.

Until then, the career of 4 or 5 years offered the idea that after investing money, time and effort in it, in the end we would be where we should be to devote ourselves to psychology, and we would have the type of accreditation needed to practice. But then, the path to professionalism is bifurcated, and for some it is difficult to cope with this uncertainty.

And it’s not only about knowing what to specialize in, but also about solving the question of whether being a specialist in something is something that we want or that suits us in the short or medium term. Therefore, in this article, we will go over the pros and cons of each option: be a general psychologist or a specialized psychologist.

    Is it better to specialize or take an overview of psychology?

    As a general rule, in the long run, opting for the option of specializing in one or more areas of psychology is usually the best option, and it is only in certain types of specific situations that it is advisable to maintain a psychologist profile with a generalist perspective of this science, as we shall see.

    That said, let’s look at the pros and cons of each option.

    Advantages and disadvantages of becoming a specialist psychologist

    Among the advantages of continue their studies up to postgraduate and master’s degree on specific areas of psychology to specialize in, the following stand out.

    • It gives the opportunity to be updated: if you only learn from the hand of professionals in this specialty, it is very easy to give for good outdated educational content
    • It allows you to apply the most effective models, techniques and strategies in each case: without expertise, you cannot be sure that our tools for analyzing and interpreting behavioral patterns and/or mental processes are the more appropriate in each case.
    • It helps to find clients and employment: from a labor market marketing point of view, it is much easier for others to understand what we do and what to expect from us if we are specialized , and this is something very important in the selection and scrapping process.
    • It allows us to discover new areas of knowledge: coming into contact with specialized knowledge allows us to enjoy a new level of learning about a subject in depth, as it raises more and more unknowns that arouse our curiosity .

    And what are the disadvantages of this option? Mainly those having to do with the need to be prepared to choose a path of specialization and to devote oneself to it for a certain period of time. Of course, the simple act of choosing a postgraduate or master’s degree is work that does not have to be done by those who decide not to specialize for the moment, or in any case to study general subjects of self-taught way. Plus, it means having to pay for those training programs and striving to meet your qualifications.

    However, today through online trainingcontinuing to study is a much more accessible possibility in terms of time compatibility, price and the possibility of choosing between several alternatives without being limited by where you live.

      Advantages and disadvantages of becoming a general psychologist

      The main disadvantages of this alternative are the reverse of the advantages of the previous one.

      The main thing is that in a discipline as vast and with fields of research and intervention as vast and complex as Psychology, when we believe we are maintaining a generalist perspective, We really don’t know much about most of the topics that have been covered in psychology..

      And is that to explain and try to predict as much as possible mental processes and observable patterns of behavior, we must first know the models and theories to apply depending on the context in which they occur and the extent of the life they affect.

      In the same way that it is unreasonable to believe that by knowing an experiment carried out in the laboratory one understands the human mind, knowing the main theories, concepts and methodologies of intervention and research often leaves us with many gaps in the knowledge that poses a problem over time. apply psychology to most specific problems to be solved or studied

      And what is the advantage of this option? Especially that to be able to have a lot of freedom without compromising in the least with a postgraduate or masters degree is what suits us if we have no idea what to study and need time to find out our concerns, maybe spend a few months reading scientific papers, popular books, etc. by ourselves.

      In addition, some professional roles indirectly related to psychology can be nurtured by our experience as graduates or bachelors, especially in the world of creativity and artistic expression, or supporting companies as consultants. : perhaps as psychologists with an overview of the discipline, we may not be able to know what to do in each case, but we are able to detect certain flaws and errors in the strategies applied by those not trained in psychology (e.g. organizations that focus their entire employee incentive and welfare system on retribution, incorrect communication strategies based on bombarding the public with data without doing appeal to emotions, etc.)

        Are you interested in continuing your studies in the world of psychology?

        If you wish to continue learning the theory and practice of one of the branches of this fascinating discipline once you have completed the bachelor’s or master’s degree, you may be interested in courses, graduate studies and master’s degrees from Mediterranean School of Psychology.

        This entity, specializing in online training in psychology, offers specialization and professionalization programs in areas such as sports psychology, psychomotor and cognitive development of childhood, human resources management, equality of gender, neuropsychological rehabilitation, etc. All this while providing access to regular live masterclasses, constant tech support, and 24/7 access to educational materials.

        Bibliographic references

        • Arias Gómez, DH (2005) Teaching and learning social sciences: a didactic proposal. Bogotá. Editorial Magisterium Cooperative.
        • Hutchins, E. (2014). The cultural ecosystem of human cognition. Philosophical Psychology, 27 (1): pp. 34 – 49.
        • Perloff, R. M. (2010). The dynamics of persuasion: communication and attitudes in the 21st century. New York: Routledge.

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