Child psychologists study learning patterns, behavioral developments and environmental factors affecting children from infancy through adolescence. They may specialize in developmental psychology, abnormal psychology or adolescent psychology. Commonly, parents of children who’ve suffered trauma or who have physical, mental or learning disabilities seek help from child psychologists. Professionals in this field can work as counselors, advisors or program psychologist prepare a child for school for social, academic, corporate or community programs.
Here, we’ll take a closer look at the practice of child psychology and how to maximize opportunities in the field. What Does a Child Psychologist Do? Many child psychologists work in private practices, often collaborating with academic and healthcare professionals. Various concentrations address different patient needs based on age or specific psychological or behavioral issue. They examine issues relevant to teenagers. Psychologists develop a system of therapeutic techniques and behavior modifications for pre-teen and teenage patients through regular psychotherapy sessions and frequent communication with parents and family, teachers and medical providers. Developmental psychologists emphasize the impact of early development on later life.
Research methods such as systematic observation, structured interviews and correlation exercises are often used. In severe cases, abnormal child psychologists may continue to see patients well into adulthood. Parents and family often require consultation to understand the severity of the patient’s psychological issues and behavior. 2012 to 2022, providing 16,400 new jobs during these years.
How Do I Become a Child Psychologist? Becoming a child psychologist requires a minimum of a master’s degree, with a major in child development or clinical psychology studies. A PhD, which focuses on research, or a PsyD, which focuses on clinical practice, is necessary for psychologists looking to advance to top positions in the field. The following represents a series of options along your path to becoming a child psychologist. Explore a niche related to child psychology. Seek out professors or professionals working in your specialty and talk with them. Getting a head start on your thesis topic is always recommended.
Look up minimum admittance score requirements for your school. Practice taking the test multiple times. Consider a paid GRE prep course if your scores are low. Schedule your test date, leaving enough time to re-test if you need to try again for a higher score. Maintain a friendly relationship with your professors. Make an effort to stand out.
They will remember you when it’s time to start requesting references. If you’ve fallen out of touch with your instructors or academic acquaintances, don’t feel intimidated about contacting them. Most likely, they will ask about your goals and interests to learn about your background and aspirations. Use our psychology database to find the best child psychology graduate programs. The school you select is directly related to your employment prospects post-graduation. Choose a school with both a recognized child psychology program and a strong alumni network.
This will create the framework of your early career. Ideally, you will already have decided where your interests lie. If not, don’t hesitate to select a research topic. Input from professors can help flesh out a full hypothesis from your initial idea. Aim to be working while you are in school. Internships can lead directly into jobs and networking opportunities, as well as strengthen your qualifications.