The psychology degree problem: a lot of theory but little practice

There is a lot of interest in psychology today, and studying the Psychology degree, on a personal level, can be one of the best experiences in life.

But despite how rewarding it is to learn behavioral science and how interesting some of the subjects that are part of your academic program are, this career is unachievable.

The problem of newly graduated psychologists

It becomes a serious problem when you have to deal with people and in many cases their emotional conflicts because when you have to stand in front of a patient for therapy and you don’t know what to do or how to do it, is something wrong (and I’m not saying that alone, that’s what you hear in the halls of college and that’s what the graduates are explaining).

Four years invested in the diploma, almost two years in the Master of General Health Psychologist and a lot of money and time spent training yourself so that you can’t put everything you’ve learned into practice.

The dilemma of gaining practical experience

Well, even more frustrating is when you try to look for work and no one gives you the chance to practice as a psychotherapist. Because no matter how much you want to prove your worth and show everyone that you are good at what you are most passionate about, no one gives you the opportunity to devote yourself to your vocation for not having enough professional experience.

It’s a fish that bites its tail: you can’t grow professionally because you don’t have enough experience, but no one gives you the chance to gain experience to keep growing and you develop professionally.

Be ready for the world of work

As Natalia Pimentel, a recent general health psychologist, explains: “What worried me the most when I finished my degree in psychology and my master’s degree in general health psychology was having studied so hard and spent so much time and money and I felt I was in “Halfway to what I set out to do: be a psychologist. I felt I was not quite competent and that I could not help my patients improve their well-being. “

Being competent in your profession does not mean knowing how to do a final diploma project, nor reading hundreds of research studies.Neither pass the theoretical exams, nor hear from many professionals in this field tell you what psychological therapy is. Being competent goes further: it means seeing many practical cases, participating in therapeutic practice, having your own patient agenda and carrying out therapy with them. In other words, it’s not just about studying a subject, but knowing how to mobilize all this learning and knowledge and put into practice your skills and all the internal and external resources you have to do your job well.

Lack of practice is a reality in academic careers

Anyone who has studied the Psychology Degree knows what I’m talking about, so surely many of you identify with this text and what Natalia expresses below: “ During these years of study we have filled our heads with data, articles, theories, and concepts that we often won’t even use. And what really matters, which is practice, has residual value in university education. “

Additionally, Natalia adds: “It is not a very pleasant feeling to finish the race without having any idea what you have to do in the job you have trained for. Because it demotivates you and you feel insecure at work. It’s time to apply everything. you studied. That’s a lot. Certainly, a very disturbing reality, shared by thousands of newly graduated psychologists.

Something needs to change in the current training model

Something needs to change in the way academic institutions educate us. It may be that after studying for 5 or 6 years (this includes the diploma and master’s degree if you pass the first one), you have to learn to work. What good is it to have so much general knowledge if no one is teaching you to actually do your job as a psychologist?

Many graduates who, at the end of the diploma in psychology or of the general Master in health, declare that they are not ready to put into practice all the learning that they have acquired throughout their years of study, therefore this postgraduate designs to compensate for this reality which so many psychologists experience.

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