A psychologist studies the mind and behavior. The average day of a psychologist varies depending on their specific role and where they work. For example, a psychologist working in a hospital may spend their days diagnosing clients, performing psychotherapy treatments, and completing various administrative tasks. Alternatively, a psychologist who works for a university may spend their days performing research or teaching classes.
There are two areas where a psychologist can work. Psychologists primarily work in one of two broad areas: research psychology or applied psychology and basic psychology.
Research psychologists investigate the physical, emotional, social, cognitive, and biological bases of human thought and behavior. They often conduct experiments and may work at a college or university, or they could be employed by a business or government office.
Applied psychologists, on the other hand, use their knowledge of human behavior to solve real-world problems or help people overcome psychological distress. Applied psychologists may work directly with clients in a healthcare setting, such as in a hospital, mental health clinic, school, or private practice, or may work in government, industry, business, or non-profit settings.
Some basic daily tasks for a psychologist include:
- Conducting research- Psychologists employed in research settings often spend a great deal of time developing hypotheses and collecting data for their research. The methods they use for their research depend largely on the topic they are studying.
- Session with clients- The client's schedule sessions with the psychologist, which are typically around 30 minutes to an hour and can vary from a psychologist to psychologist. During this time, the client discusses their issues with a psychologist and the psychologist aids them in learning healthier ways to handle their mental health issues.
- Develop treatment plans- Psychologists employed in healthcare settings diagnose mental disorders, conduct assessments, and make treatment plans.
- Document client progress- After a session, the psychologist documents the progress of the client. They also do this to help the clients remember the insights they have gained during the session which can be talked through in the next visits.
- Collaborate- Psychologists might work in collaboration with psychiatrists, physicians, or social workers to help cure the clients, work with individuals, couples, and families to help them make desired changes in their behaviors.
However, at the end of the day, it is important that a psychologist should have some important qualities and skills such as empathy, patience, maintaining confidentiality, being a good communicator, and most importantly, he/she should have a work-life balance and passion towards their work.