Clinical Psychologist (Episode 38)


The study of human behavior
is today’s featured career: the psychologist. Hi.

Hello. I’m Brian. I’m Dr. Peel. Come on in.

Nice to meet you. I’ll show you around.

Please. Clinical psychologist,
is somebody who works with people who are having some sort of problem, something’s gone wrong in their life, or something horrible’s happened, and we do assessment
where we figure out what the issue is, and then you do treatment, which is therapy
for trying to sort out the problem. You might have clinical psychologists who only work with post-traumatic stress disorder or who only work
with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or who only works for children. But, because I’m in private practice, it’s a small town,
and there’s not many psychologists here, we have to be able to do lots of different things. So, this would be a typical office space
for a psychologist? Yeah, we’ve got the therapy space here, and then this is more for um, admin and report writing, and this would be where we were doing the actual therapy sitting,
more comfortably, and would see clients
in this part of the room. When I meet people for the first time, I explain to them what we’re gonna do
and I ask questions, just get the background of their life, and then I ask them about what’s brought them, and they tell me about whatever the issue is, and I’m explaining to them very carefully, you know, the situations
in which I can keep total confidentiality, which is almost always,
and then the, the small occasions, when if I felt like that person was in danger. For example, if they were suicidal
or if a child is in danger, um, and explain to them what would happen and I’m making suggestions
about what I think’s gonna be helpful and I have a whole range of different treatments and therapies that I can use
and I tailor it for each person. They might have some anxiety, and then I’m gonna teach them some things to help calm their body down and behavioural things
to help them to feel better. When you’re assessing children —

Mhm. — children don’t sit and talk
like we’re talking. Children show their feelings
and their story in their life through their play. So, whatever you give them to play with, they’ll, they’ll show um what’s happening
in their minds, through what they choose to do with it. At the moment,
I work three days a week because I have young children
and I work one evening because I find that people need after-school hours
or after-work hours. So, in, in private practice
you can have completely flexible hours, but if you’re in a government job,
in a hospital job, then it’s usually 9:00 to 5:00. I’ve worked in jobs before,
where you have to work on the weekends. It really depends on the setting. So what I want you to do is,
go through these cards, they’re all different faces,
and we’ll do the feelings. and pick out the ones that fits you today. I knew I wanted to go and do uh,
an undergrad degree, and I chose psychology because I just thought it would be really interesting, and I also thought that I would meet
really interesting people, and part of my degree, was that you got to do a, a year
working in a psychology setting. I chose to work at a children’s hospital and that’s where I discovered
that I really wanted to be a psychologist, because I worked with a psychologist
and she really inspired me. In highschool, if there are courses in psychology,
it’s good to take them and then you do a bachelor’s degree, relevant to psychology or human behavior, and then you do your masters, and then you do a PhD. Psychologists are proud
of being evidence-based practitioners, and so we’re innovative, in that we’re researching things
on an ongoing basis and, and helping to find the, the best
and latest treatments for people. What really makes a great psychologist? I think it’s really just being able to connect with people and make people feel comfortable. You have to have the relationship before you can put any of your education into practice. Being really interested in people
is something that you can’t learn to do and you need that
and you need to be an empathic person as well, having sympathy for another person, and trying to understand
what their perspective is and what’s going on for them. Some people are really concrete,
and they just want to sit and talk, and some people find sitting
and talking really difficult, so they want to,
I’ll do drawings with adults, I’ll um get adults playing with the um cards
and feeling faces. Being detail-oriented is really important
for doing assessments. So, when we’re doing assessments, we’re sitting with testing materials,
asking questions, getting people to do hands-on tasks, and we’re observing them really closely. There’s quite a strict code of ethics, and the law binds me to this code of ethics, and part of it is keeping good notes. So, I have to have notes
that have particular things in them, um, have to be very careful about confidentiality
in that area. I’m happy to see the, the miserable ones
are going over there and the happy ones are over here. One of the things that I love
about being psychologist, is there’s, there’s so many opportunities. So, I could become a professor at a university and be conducting research. A lot of people go from a healthcare-type job
into private practice because then you get more flexibility
and more freedom to do what you want, and also if I decided
I didn’t want to be a psychologist anymore, the skills that you learn when you train
to be a psychologist, can be applied in every area of life. One thing that really helped me
was working with a, a psychologist. So, if you can get a job,
even if it’s volunteering, so that you can see what they do, and help to figure out
whether that’s what you want to do. It is a very rewarding job. I love my job actually. I really enjoy interaction with people and I get to hear what’s really going on
for people, be able to help people
to understand how their brain works so they can function better in school
or at work. I feel really honored to be able to do that. Well Dr. Peel, thank you very much for having me. I had a really great day. My pleasure.

Take care. Once again, I’m Brian for Career Trek, reminding you that this career could be yours. See you next time.

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