What To Do With That Psychology Degree

What To Do With That Psychology Degree

Ok, so you got your psychology degree or your just about to, now what do you do? What are your options? What direction should you go? So many questions but at times it can be difficult to know what is best without a doubt!

Well, there are a number of options, but often it can be really confusing and challenging to know what to do.

My own experiences

I know the feeling many have all too well. I struggled often to know what I was going to do with my degree. At first, I did an undergraduate degree in social sciences that I struggled my way through.

I just managed to get enough grades in high school to get onto the degree, but when I had finished, I really didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do.

I was lucky enough to have had a couple of psychology modules through my first degree that were really the only ones I enjoyed. Also, after completing my degree in social sciences I conducted a therapy course that started me on my path to psychology and counselling psychology in particular.

I was fortunate because when I started my next degree which was a graduate diploma in psychology, I knew what I wanted to do, I had the goal of one day becoming a counselling psychologist

I had a purpose and direction, but I know not everyone has this. Even when people finish their degrees, things can still seem blurry and uncertain.

With a broad degree like psychology, it can be even harder to know what to do next.

With this live understanding and coming to the end of my training, I have some understanding and some personal experience that might help people get some direction after completing their psychology degree.

What options are there?

So, first question first, what exactly are the options?

Well, I’m sure you are aware that there is a very low percentage of people that go into professional psychology after their degree

Why is that though?

I think one of the biggest things is that if you want to pursue a career in psychology then further studies are required.

This can be difficult to accept for people that have just come through a four-year degree, realising that they could have a minimum of another three years fo university studies ahead of them to become a psychologist can be a daunting prospect.

I also think the issue and difficulty is a little bigger than this too. We still as a society are unsure as to what psychology is really all about. I think there is still this abstract nature or abstract understanding about psychology, both by graduates and the general public.

If we don’t fully understand it then we are more likely to just ignore it or not pursue it. We need to change this!

What if you don’t want a career in psychology?

There are of course numerous options still available for those with a psychology degree that don’t want to pursue a career in psychology

One of the most sought after jobs is teaching

Psychology is still a brilliant degree to take you onto teacher training and can be a really desirable degree for employers and educational bodies.

Your understanding of people and the ability to work with them will result from your psychology degree, and teaching wants more people like that.

HR work is also a good option for those that don’t want to pursue a career in psychology.

Human resources often look for people with psychology backgrounds, much like those employing teachers.

Your ability to understand, relate to and Interact with people will be evident through your psychology degree.

I think this really speaks to the overall value of a psychology degree. A psychology degree is more than just learning theory or understanding models, its actually learning about human behaviour, peoples mindsets and gives you unique abilities to relate to and work with people.

You should always remember this when going for any job with your psychology degree. I very much believe that psychology graduates are in a valuable and unique position with this.

There are of course other profession options available for psychology graduates

Things such as working in health care, working in the police or even advocacy work and politics.

What if you want a career in psychology?

However, what if you do want to develop your career in psychology though? What do you do next?

Well first you need to think about what type of psychology you want to do and why

Counselling, educational, clinical, occupations, health sports and exercise. There are so many different forms of psychology.

The real question that you need to ask yourself is, what is it that drives you to any of these professions?

For me, it’s the one to one in-depth work that got me into counselling psychology. That and the idea of one day working on a more private basis. All of these factors contributed to me going down the counselling psychology path.

There are some things I would flag up here when thinking about what form of psychology you want to pursue though.

Be careful of only going for the money and paid courses.

Of course, I get the struggle but just be aware. It’s important to put your ideology and passion first.

What you need to be thinking of next

Experience, experience, experience!!!

Go out and volunteer!

Develop experience in caring roles, roles where you will be helping and working with others.

Look at positions like health care work, support worker (in particular), even assistant psychologist roles.

Network and see where you can add value. This is a vital next step in developing your career in psychology and knowing where you want to take your psychology degree.

One of the biggest issues with people getting ahead in psychology after their degree is that they think things are just going to fall in place.

They won’t!

You need to do the groundwork during and after you graduate.

Create those opportunities for yourself because at the end of the day there will be loads of people in the same position as you. This is actually something I have spoken about at conferences before to psychology graduates. Click here to check out my talk.

Think about researcher roles also.

Don’t count these out!

They can be a great way in the door of academia and working with some psychologists. Universities are always looking for willing researchers so it a line of employment that always has opportunities and can be really rewarding.

I got my researcher job off the back of seeing a job advert that I didn’t fit and phoning the guy up and he gave me another job to do psychology research for him.

Key points to consider

  • It’s ok to not go into psychology after your undergraduate degree. It’s still a brilliant and wide-ranging degree to have.
  • Don’t be scared of going into a profession in psychology.
  • Some extra work will be needed, but we need psychologists now more than ever.
  • The opportunities are so huge for those willing to invest.
  • Think about the type of psychology you want to undertake and why.
  • What are the reasons for this form of psychology? Why not others?
  • Develop experiences.
  • Network.
  • Think about building a CV.
The Problems With Psychology Today

The Problems With Psychology Today

Before I start…

Before I begin I want to say that there will be numerous people that disagree with me and that’s totally ok. I love psychology, obviously, but there are numerous issues in the field today overall that I have felt are prevalent in psychology and that I think need discussing.

Empirical literature

The first thing that I feel is important to highlight is the emphasis and focus given only to empirical literature in psychology.

No, we need empirical lit, don’t get me wrong. We need research backing in everything we do. As a psychologist, you are also a scientist and must use empirically backed information. Furthermore, this isn’t an attempt by me to say that we should stop the process of empirical literature, not by any means.

I want to ensure I am being clear and that my point is not misconstrued here.

My question is though, do we focus on empirical literature too much in psychology, to the detriment of other mediums of communicating psychological information and findings?

I am a great believer in psychologists and those working in the mental health profession being more in the public awareness and in public domains. One of the main questions I ask here is, are psychologists not focusing enough on where the public is?

I’ve spoken about this a lot recently, and it was actually one of the things that led me to create GetPsyched in the first place.

We as psychologists, trainees and mental health practitioners, need to be in the mainstream where the people are.

The public doesn’t read empirical literature often. Yes, they feel the impact of it when psychologists utilise empirical principles, but they don’t absorb the content directly. We need psychologists to be on social media, on YouTube, on blogs, in the mainstream where people actually absorb content on a regular basis.

For example, name one publically recognisable psychologist. Name a recent study in psychology that grabbed the public attention. It’s difficult, nearly impossible, to see where psychology is branching from vital empirical literature and communicating it to the masses, where it needs to be absorbed and understood. We need psychologists to be in mediums where their work and what they do is recognised and appreciated.

Processes of getting published, and the value this has for professionals

This kind of leads me to my next point

The actual process of getting published is very challenging, again rightly so. This means that we get the most robust literature into the field of psychology, we need to be scrupulous and challenging of the literature we accept.

There is something to be said about the difficulty that students and new researchers have in getting published as a result though, but this isn’t necessarily something I would directly change.

What I do think is an issue is how psychology researchers are given value based on the number of publications they have to their name.

Now, you might not think this is such an issue, but I do.

Researchers based at universities are often ranked based on the number of publications they get.

This can at times have consequences where researchers break up pieces of research in order to publish multiple articles and not just one big one…again you might not think it’s a big deal.

However, the fact that this goes on speaks to the motives behind this valuable empirical literature.

It’s often not a case of getting their best work out there, sometimes it is of course, but other times its to boost the name and the credibility of the individual and that doesn’t sit well with me.

What’s more, is that the pull to publish more work can at times lead to shoddy results. Now, this is in part why it’s so important to have a critical eye in psychology, but I do not think we address this enough.

It’s not uncommon for researchers to manipulate data to their favour and in ways that give outputs that they want. It might be to get more funding, it might be to boost their position as a researcher, either way, it’s not ok.

I don’t want you leaving thinking I hate empirical literature, I in no way do. In truth, I believe in developing more empirical literature. The research backing I have as counselling psychology is based in empirically backed considerations. This is something I would never change. I believe in the scrupulous nature of publishing research also. However, the points I have discussed here are ones I feel need addressed.

Unequal appreciation of different branches

For me, this is a big one.

In the UK we have a disparity between different branches of psychology.

Let me make this clear from the beginning.

No one branch of psychology is more important or valuable than another!

If you are a doctor in applied psychology then you are equal to all other applied psychologists, clinical, educational, counselling, health, sports and exercise. We don’t fully appreciate that often in this country.

I’m going to try and take bias out of this as much as I can as I am a counselling psychologist in training. However, the way we look at clinical psychology and its hierarchical nature isn’t ok. Every now again on twitter ill voice this…it often doesn’t go down well.

People still see clinical as superior…it’s not.

In the UK we think it is, often because the training is fully funded, with a £26,000 a year salary attached.

Again, I’ve had some Twitter discussions about how this isn’t ok also.

However, the NHS and here in the UK have given clinical this hierarchical nature. I work with some people who are counselling psychologists and counselling psychologists in training that are not allowed to work with borderline personality disorders, it’s left to the clinical psychologists.

This isn’t right, it has no research backing, and it is against the egalitarian nature of all applied psychologies.

Counselling psychologists can work with a client diagnosed with BPD just as well as any other. One of the only ways this is going to change is with the funding situation.

Challenges with the direct route for undergrads

My next issue with psychology right now is the route and options for undergraduate psychology students. A very small percentage of undergraduates in psychology pursue a career in the field.

In large I think much of this has to do with not enough information or development of direct routes into careers in psychology.

If psychology is going to see developments in people coming through the ranks then I really think initiatives like apprenticeships, internship and opportunities for experience need to be provided by universities.

Non-accredited counsellors and therapists

This is an area that might not be directly attributed to psychology itself, but it is something psychology can stand up for and that will help it in its development I feel.

There are so many non-accredited ‘therapists’ and ‘counsellors’ out there. I have spoken to many and even worked with some in the past. The fact that an individual can legally call themselves counsellor or a therapist is discrediting to the therapeutic industry, and psychology as a whole.

Legally no one can call themselves a psychologist if they do not have a doctorate. However, literally, anyone can call themselves a therapist, counsellor or psychotherapist.

A lot of the time counselling psychologists actually call themselves therapists and this can blur the lines even further.

In part, this is a job for governing bodies here in the UK such as the BACP to develop guidelines of accreditation.

Challenges in developing clinical experience for students

When I did a bit of market research for this topic, the challenges for developing clinical experience for psychology student came out as a big concern.

Students seem more and more frustrated in psychology with the difficulties in gaining clinical experience

Now, I’ll be honest, I was very lucky and didn’t really have this issue.

However, I can empathise with the challenges and frustrations experienced by undergraduates. In part, I feel that the view that psychology is often seen as a route to multiple careers not a career in psychology is a major contributing factor.

In many ways, this connects to one of my previous points. Psychology must do better in informing undergraduate students about the opportunities that are available in psychology.

We must do more to encourage students to pursue careers in psychology!

The GetPsyched Reading List 2019

The GetPsyched Reading List 2019

Welcome to the GetPsyched reading list 2019!

I love reading, and there is nothing I love more than a good psychology book.

I developed this reading list based off of some of my favourite books over the past few years.

If you are a psychology student, graduate, qualified psychologist, therapist or simply just interested in the topic of psychology then there will be a book in here for you, or maybe two, or maybe all of them!

Check out my reviews of all 20 books and simply click on the name of the book to be taken straight to a link to purchase it!

GRIT

I’m kicking off the GetPsyched reading list with one of my favourite books from last year.

Grit, by Angela Duckworth, utilises real empirical psychological research to establish the key characteristic that determines the difference between the successful and unsuccessful.

That key characteristic is Grit!

Grit meaning the determination to continue to pursue goals and objectives regardless of failure.

Not only this, but grit also means the desire to learn from failure and apply that learning to the next attempt to achieve their goals.

This is a brilliant book, well written and not your typical hard to read psychology book full of jargon and difficult concepts. A real must read for 2019!

Click here to buy Grit.

BLACKBOX THINKING

Blackbox thinking really came at the right time for me.

I had just started my doctorate in counselling psychology and was struggling to come to terms with a failed assignment.

This book really opened my eyes to the power and true purpose of failure.

Blackbox Thinking looks at different professional industries in our society and tries to teach lessons of industries that refuse to learn from failure, those that do and the differences in those industries as a result.

If you want to gain a better understanding of what failure is all about, the purpose and power of what failure can do for us, then this book is a must read!

Click here to buy Blackbox Thinking

ON BECOMING A PERSON

Carl Rogers is one of the greatest pioneers of psychotherapy and psychology!

His work created a new age of therapeutic work during times of psychodynamic and behaviourist principles.

With a focus on the client as an individual, in their subjective world, Rogers’ work was revolutionary.

This book really encapsulates his ideology and philosophy better than any other.

What’s more, is that you don’t need to be a therapist to really appreciate and gain benefit from his work and knowledge

A new appreciation of the individual, empathy, unconditional positive regard and congruence, an appreciation of the principles in this book and enhance the life of any reader, from any background and profession.

Click here to buy On Becoming A Person.

FLOW

 

The book, unsurprisingly so, introduces the concept of ‘flow’.

Flow is a state that if reached, it is argued, can enrich the lives of people, and is the key to true happiness.

 combination of a number of things such as minimising some of the challenges we catastrophise in life, as well as learning from our failures encapsulates what flow is about, however, it includes so much more.

This book is a bit of a classic in psychology and I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.

Backed with real sound empirical principles this book is one for the people looking to introduce a new concept in their lives to experience some more happiness in 2019!

 

Click here to buy Flow

SCRIPTS PEOPLE LIVE

Scripts People Live is a classic Transactional Analysis (TA) text

It really goes in depth to one of the most intriguing aspects of TA therapy

Scripts, in short, are functions, routines and plans that are laid out by us from birth, with how we plan to live our lives.

Understand the script that you live can be a vital part of self-discovery and treatment for mental health issues TA argues

Click here to buy Scripts People Live

OUTLIERS

This, for me, is Malcolm Gladwell’s best work.

He illustrates in this book how being separate and different from the pack can be to your great advantage when trying to excel and get ahead in life.

So often, people want to be on the best sports team, at the best university or hired by the best company, but does this really give us the opportunity to be an outlier?

Does this really give us the opportunity to stand out from the pack, be different, be noticed and great opportunities for ourselves?

In this book, Gladwell outlines how being different and separate from the rest could be one of your greatest strengths.

Using some incredible examples, from industries and professions from all over the work, Gladwell outlines this point superbly!

Click here to buy Outliers

THINKING FAST AND SLOW

Thinking fast and slow can be a challenging read I will not deny it

However, this is in the GetPsyched Reading List 2019 because of how thought-provoking it is.

If you can get past the challenges you might experience in reading it, this book talks in great detail about the two different parts of our decision making brain, the logic behind them and how it rules everything we do.

How rational we think we are when we are reactive compared to when we are considered and think situations through thoroughly, is very different from reality.

A really really insightful read.

Click here to by Thinking Fast and Slow

DAVID AND GOLIATH

 

This is by far and away one of Gladwell’s best books.

He takes some really simple concepts and stories and outlines how having few advantages can actually be one of your biggest advantages.

What I love most about this book is the way Gladwell turns society perceptions on its heads.

So often we think we need more than we really do to be the success we want to be…Gladwell outlines this wonderfully.

 

Click here to buy David and Goliath

 

LOVES EXECUTIONER

Love Executioner has to be my favourite book of all time in the therapeutic field.

I have read this book numerous times, and as a trainee psychologist myself, I get something different from it every single time.

Yalom is one of the most experiences psychotherapists you could imagine, and in Love Executioner, he goes into detail about some of his most memorable cases, for good reasons and bad.

What is amazing about this book is Yalom’s fearlessness about expressing his failures as a therapist.

He does not write this book in an attempt to outline is brilliance, but rather to be open and honest about the realities of working in therapy.

Each case is different, and each case is as exciting and interesting as the next.

What’s more is that Yalom himself learns something new from each client and outlines some of his thinking patterns and therapeutic philosophies as he writes.

This is an incredible book!

Click here to buy Loves Executioner

THE GIFT OF THERAPY

Similar to his other work, Yalom in the Gift of Therapy talks about his personal experiences and process of becoming the establish therapist he is today.

He goes into brutal detail about his trials and successes, something I rarely come across form professional therapists talking about their work.

The lessons he has learned and is willing to relay to the reader are so so valuable.

I really believe this book is not only a must read for therapists and trainees, but for anyone wishing to develop empathic and interpersonal skills with a desire to communicate and relate to others better.

Click here to buy The Gift of Therapy

CREATURES OF A DAY

Creatures of a day, another one of Yalom’s books (you’re getting a sense of a theme here), is very similar to Loves Executioner.

He goes into depth about some of his most challenging clients, why he related to well to some, why he found some so difficult, and what they all taught him.

If you buy and liked Loves Executioner then you’ll want to buy this also!

Click here to buy Creatures Of A Day

MOMMA AND THE MEANING OF LIFE

Momma and the meaning of life is similar to Yalom’s other texts but also very different.

Again, a case study based book, Yalom looks at some compelling clients he has worked with but focusses his writing more on the character of the individuals and what is instilled in Yalom as a result.

A deeply reflective practitioner, Yalom shares some of his deepest vulnerabilities and personal challenges in this book that are surfaced as a result of the work he conducts with each client.

One to read after to have read the other Yalom recommended books, but one that brings a new dimension to his valuable and insightful work.

 

Click here to buy Momma And Me

THE ALCHEMIST

The Alchemist is a bit of a cult classic.

I won’t deny it, at times it can be difficult to read.

However, immersing yourself in this book and learning the lessons of following your dreams and overcoming any obstacle, makes it a fantastic read.

Click here to buy The Alchemist

WORKING AT RELATIONAL DEPTH

This book should be on any trainee or qualified therapist’s reading list.

Cooper and Mearns have written numerous books together but this is a stand out for me.

They look at the concept of the relationship between client and therapists and outline is value, principles and functionality in the therapeutic dynamic.

The therapeutic relationship is the key ingredient to any successful therapy and this book outlines how to do it and value it right!

Click here to buy Relational Depth

A SHORT INTRODUCTION TO COUNSELLING PSYCHOLOGY

 

 

One of the questions I get asked the most is about counselling psychology.

What is it? How is it different from clinical? What do counselling psychologists do?

It can be hard to give the answers that people want from me at times…however, this book as all the answers.

I use this book to this day when outlining key principles and identities in counselling psychology.

With it’s easy to read, digestible principles, its a brilliant read for anyone interested in the field of counselling psychology.

 

Click here to buy A Short Introduction To Counselling Psychology

 

THE EXAMINED LIFE

This book is all about insight.

Much like some of Yalom’s work, this book is based around case studies.

However, this is so applicable for not only therapists but anyone interested in understanding what it takes to overcome some of the most challenging circumstances in life.

The Examined Life is Looks at what insights clients make about themselves, other people and the world around them, and how this can at times be all that is required to achieve healing.

A really moving book.

 

Click here to buy The Examined Life

 

AWAKENINGS

 

Out of all the books on the GetPSyched Reading List 2019, this one blew me away more than any other.

The book outlines the lives of a terrifying condition experienced by only a handful of people in the USA where they were aware of the world around them but unable to speak, move or engage with it.

After 40 years in hospital, these patients were temporarily awoken due to the administration of a new drug.

Ill leave you to find out the rest but this book is both shocking and brilliantly written.

 

Click here to buy Awakenings

THE TRIBES OF THE PERSON CENTRED NATION

A real favourite therapeutic approach book of mine.

The tribes of person-centred do a wonderful job of outlining the different approaches to one of the most famous branches of therapy.

At times person-centred therapy and the different viewpoints of it can be very confusing…this makes sense of it though.

It gives great details of the different forms of PCT and the functionality of hem in practice.

 

Click here to buy The Tribes of the Person-Centred Nation

 

PAVLOVS DOGS AND OTHER EXPERIMENTS

This is one of those books that I just love picking up every now and again.

It’s by no means a self-discovery or intellectual based book but it is so so fun to read and actually gives more detail than I thought it would at first.

If like me you are interested in the basic principles of psychology but have limited time or resources to remind your self of some of the experiments that established these principles…then this is the book for you.

It gives wonderful illustrations and descriptions of the most famous studies in psychologies history.

It’s so easy to read and a really nice break from some of the harder texts I read often.

This book also looks at some of the ethical and legal issues some of these studies raised as well as their findings and how they still influence our lives and understand of psychology today. A really brilliant book!

Click here to buy Pavlov’s Dogs And Other Experiments

THE PSYCHOLOGY BOOK

Very similar to Pavlov’s Dogs and Other Experiments, the Psychology Book is one of those books I love to big up and just have a scan through.

Its nothing heavy and in truth was actually given to me as a bit of a joke.

It’s honestly brilliant though.

It’s a book that makes some of the most challenging and difficult to absorb concepts and principles in psychology easy to digest.

With awesome illustrations and key facts about studies, research, psychologists and experiments, it is everything you need in order to learn the most valuable points of some of the key principles to psychology.

Click here to buy The Psychology Book

 

And that does it folks

Thanks so much for reading the GetPsyched Reading List 2019, make sure to click on the links for each of the books to be taken to options to buy them, each of them really is as brilliant as the next.

Let us know how you liked them as well once you’ve taken a look at them.

And happy reading fro 2019!

How To Use Visualisation – The Power Of Visualisation

How To Use Visualisation – The Power Of Visualisation

What is visualisation?

It’s a term that’s used to help people realise and achieve goals and dreams, but what do we mean exactly by visualisation and what impact can it actually have?

Well, fundamentally visualisation is a cognitive tool used to picture exactly what you want to happen.

In doing so we are creating all aspects of the scenario that we to experience or obtain. Now, I mean everything, so that could be sounds, sights, smells, feelings.

The more realistic the visualisation you take part in and the more it stimulates you, the more impact it will have in you realising and moving closer to what you want to achieve.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter gives a fantastic explanation of what visualisation is and its power:

A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more

So, with this depiction, we can start to understand that visualisation is an opportunity for us to try and control what we are struggling to control.

It is a tool that helps us create what we want to see and achieve.

This all sounds great, ideal, give me some visualisation!

Well, hold on for a second. What is important when thinking about concepts that talk about how they are the key to success, is to look at the research.

What does psychology say about visualisation?

Well, often in psychological services, visualisation boards are used to help illustrate what the client is seeking.

These external tools can help in keeping the client focussed on visualisation.

Visualisation boards are often used for people that want a better future, a healthier lifestyle and even for those attempting to overcome addiction.

In psychological services, concrete objects are often utilised to help with the process of visualisation.

This is often used with patients with depression to visualise a better future and used to great effect.

These concrete objects can include things such as pictures in wallets for example, or mementoes that the individual carries with them.

Visualisation is also used in psychological and therapeutic services for patients with severe anxiety to create mental holidays to retreat to a calmer environment.

This might sound abstract but it has been shown to have incredible effects.

So, it’s clear then that visualisation techniques can be used to incredible effect in therapeutic and psychological contests but where else is visualisation used?

Where else is visualisation used?

Well the easiest one to appreciate perhaps is in the world of sports

Athletes will spend huge amounts of time visualising good performances.

Recent research has in fact inferred that spending time visualising performances and potential different outcomes and responses in sports settings have as much a role to play in how well an athlete performs the practice itself.

I watched the Winter Olympics earlier in the year and saw bob slay team captains pretending to go through the motions of the full course in their minds.

They would turn in ways that they would expect when they go down the track, all to ensure that they fully utilise the power of visualisation.

Visualisation can also be really effectively utilised in a studying context.

For example, you might visualise exams and coursework that you have due. Visualising what questions, you might get asked and best to answer them are all really powerful ways of utilising visualisation in studying.

The trick here, with regards to anything in visualisation, is to go through the entire process.

Don’t just focus on one questions in an exam or one move on the sports field. Visualise the full thing in its entirety.

That means, from waking up that day, to what you have for breakfast, to walking to school or the gym, to entering the room and sitting down and opening the paper…you get the idea.

The important thing is that you go through as many different scenarios in your head in as much detail as possible.

This way, you teach yourself not to expect anything unpredictable. You also reassure yourself of the different outcomes that could happen and how you might react as a result.

How can you use visualisation to great effect in your everyday life?

Well, you might to create your own visualisation board and keep it somewhere that you will see it every day. Whenever you walk past it, take some time to visualise what it is you desire as you look at the pictures.

When I was studying for exams, I used to pin my notes and mind maps around my house and when I went to the fridge for milk, there would be some notes there, I would take my time and read them through and visualise how I might use them in a potential question in an exam.

When I went to go out the front door, there would be another page of notes and I would do the same.

I was utilising visualisation to improve my upcoming performances.

Fundamentally guys, visualisation is seriously powerful, it’s not just a generic term thrown around by people who think they know what they are talking about, it has real psychological backing and is a toll that you can use every day to achieve and progress more in whatever you want to do.

Interested in learning more about visualisation? The check out the recent video I did about the psychology of visualisation on my YouTube channel GetPsyched by clicking the link here.

Using Psychology to Learn New Things Better.

Using Psychology to Learn New Things Better.

Part of the reason why I love psychology so much is that it’s not just for professors and academics.

Psychological principles can be used by anyone who has a little understanding to great effect.

I once had a psychology tutor who told me that as psychology students, we were at an extreme advantage with regards to studying for classes, assignments and exams.

We already knew what worked and what didn’t work.

We were learning the very techniques and principles that other fields tried to apply to their study patterns and regimes.

Learning new things is one of those concepts that we all wish we could be better at.

We might here new and interesting information, yet struggle to retain it and access it when we need it most.

Psychology and psychological principles can help with this though. There are numerous ways in which psychology can help us learn new things better.

You can find out so much more information on how psychology can help you learn new things better by checking out a video I did on this subject on my YouTube channel GetPsyched. Check out the video by clicking here.

In this article, I am going to give you a number of psychologically backed principles and interventions you can use to learn new things better.

So, let’s get to it.

STATE DEPENDENT RECALL

This basically means you have a place where you learn stuff.

A secluded and quiet location where you do your most profound thinking and learning.

Use this place often and make it your environment to absorb new information.

For me personally, that would be my back bedroom that has a desk in it, I can sit on my office chair and feel comfortable in that environment to give my full attention to what I am learning.

It’s peaceful, has natural light, and is simplistic and minimalistic enough to the point where I won’t get distracted.

What’s more is that when the door is shut, others know that I’m really busy or invested in a task and don’t want to be disturbed.

Put it this way, you’re not going to learn new stuff best if you keep changing the environment, at a bar or watching TV for example.

THE FUNDAMENTAL ATTRIBUTION ERROR

This sound fancy but it basically means holding yourself accountable for your own learning.

If you think others learn stuff better because they are just smarter than you, then your suffering from the fundamental attribution error.

Holding yourself accountable for your learning and thinking about what you can do to improve it will always assist in learning new things.

SPACED REPETITION

Now, this is a technique often used in classrooms by teachers.

It basically means extending the amount of time before trying to recall something you have learned.

By increased the time between recall, you improve our ability to learn the new information

You can try this out yourself pretty easily actually. Learn something new and give yourself 5 minutes to then recall it by memory. If you get it then extend that 5 minutes to 30 minutes, then an hour, 6 hours, a day, 3 days and so on.

To the point where you can recall the information over a large amount of time.

By extending the period of time between recalling new information, we stretch our brain and memory continually to the point where it is forced to keep responding to new and challenging circumstances.

As a result, we not only learn new things better, but we also retain them at an improved rate.

MULTI-MODEL LEARNING

This basically means you should try and learn new things via more than one method.

If you simply read something new and leave it at that, then your limiting yourself and your ability to learn and retain new information.

You could try some of the following examples as learning tools that could be used together. Draw a picture of what you are trying to learn, create a mind map, or speak it out to yourself.

By increasing the number of learning tools and format’s, you learn much faster.

THE METHOD OF LOCI

This sounds a bit weird but it’s a form of mnemonics that help you remember new information better.

Used by the ancient Greeks, you remember new information by the location that you place them in in your mind.

In the modern day, people have been able to memorise thousands of pieces of new information via this method.

They didn’t start out like this, but what they do is actually construct full cities in their head and place each piece of new information in different areas, locations and buildings around this city in order to memorise this new and vastly complex information very quickly and effectively.

There are ways that you can use this tool for yourself. For example, remembering items or pieces of information by storing them in different rooms in a house you have created in your mind has been shown to have incredible effects for learning new things.

This is a technique that you really need to try out for yourself!

UNDERSTAND YOUR WORKING MEMORIES CAPACITY

Your working memory, which is your ability to retain different pieces of useful information, has a limit.

This limit usually is capped at around 7 pieces of new information in most circumstances.

By understanding this better, you can schedule your breaks better that we spoke about earlier and retain more accurate new information more effectively and over longer and more sustained periods of time.

UNDERSTAND YOUR METACOGNITION

Firstly, what is metacognition?

Its fundamentally our ability to assess and understand our own skills and learning capabilities.

By understanding your own metacognition you’ll begin to see that you perhaps aren’t taking enough time to learn new information.

Cognitive psychologists have time and time again found that a lack of understanding of metacognition has led to poor retention of new information.

Basically, you need a level of self-awareness for what your needs are when learning new information and how you learn new information best. That way, things should start to make more sense.

So, those are my top tips on how to learn new information better. These tips are really effective but they don’t come overnight. What I suggest is that you give them all a try, see what ones, and what combination, works best for you and practice them a lot!

Al the best with learning all that new info brainiac!!!

What To Expect From A Psychology Doctorate Programme.

What To Expect From A Psychology Doctorate Programme.

Deciding to undertake a massive course like the doctorate in counselling psychology is a huge step.

For me, it was a journey I wasn’t sure I would ever get the opportunity to be a part of at one time. Starting the counselling psychology doctorate meant I had to conduct a graduate diploma in psychology and gain enough experience in the therapeutic and psychological field to be considered for the course.

When I was accepted onto the doctorate in 2016 it was an overwhelming sense of relief, excitement and apprehension. I would experience these to even greater degrees as the course began.

I’ve come to realise a number of things after being on the counselling psychology course for a year and a half, that I think are worth sharing. Firstly, it is a fantastic course. Studying a subject that is your passion is exhilarating at times, I feel like I am a working cog in the course and not just a ‘student’ listening to a ‘teacher’.

Although this, in theory, is true, I feel that because I enjoy learning so much about counselling psychology, I feel fully involved in my learning experience.

Secondly, there are a massive amount of opportunities that present themselves during the course and after graduation. Attending annual conferences, presenting workshops at universities, connecting with larger psychology organisation, and developing networking connection are just some of the fantastic opportunities I have realised come with undertaking the doctorate.

My advice here is that these opportunities really only present themselves to people who go out to find them. The extra work is well worth it though.

Thirdly, success on this course is dependent on a number of things rather than just intelligence. The ability to juggle multiple things at once is something you have to get used to very early on and get better at as the course develops.

Class work, reflective work, assignments, placements, personal therapy, and your own external work are just some of the things going on for me right now. Staying organised and accepting that the juggling act is just part of the course is vital.

At times for me, it feels like working on coursework is something I spend less of my time on than everything else. Placement takes up a large amount of time, as do additional reading and reflective practices. I’ve learned not to be worried about this though and have seen the value in investing time in these exercises.

Reflection and learning from practical work are extremely valuable when it comes to writing assignments and feeling more confident in the therapeutic work you facilitate. One key point I have learned so far is that your ‘intelligence’ might get you on the course, but your resourcefulness and determination will keep you on it.

One of the most challenging aspects of training for me has been juggling it with employment. Making enough money per month whilst studying can be stressful and has become a challenge I have had to accept on a monthly basis. I have been fortunate enough to work part-time as a research assistant and seminar tutor, which has allowed me to earn a living whilst studying. However, financial assistance for the course is something I feel needs improving. Especially when compared to our clinical counterparts. This, of course, is an issue externally to my course, my university and my governing bodies, but it is an issue that I feel needs consideration by those about to start the counselling psychology doctorate.

The course has been a pleasure and a real honour to be a part of. Studying my passion has kept me motivated and focussed on progressing further. I have learned that there are huge opportunities in the field of counselling psychology. I have also learned that whilst continual independent reading is vital, the practical experience that we gain in classes and on placement is invaluable. Practically implementing theory and research into actual therapeutic work is exciting to be a part of.

Interested in learning about the day in the life of a psychology doctoral trainee? Then click here.

Why not stay up to date on my YouTube channel ‘GetPsyched’ too. Youll find weekly videos on topics in psychology and study tricks also. Check out the channel by clicking here.

 

 

We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By agreeing you accept the use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.

Privacy Settings saved!
Privacy Settings

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

In order to ensure correct function of this site we track page visits with Google Analytics. This information is not used for personal identification or remarketing.
  • _gid
  • _gat_gtag_UA_105070399_1
  • _ga

In order to use this website we use the following technically required cookies
  • wordpress_test_cookie
  • wordpress_logged_in_
  • wordpress_sec

Cloudflare keeps traffic on the site secure.
  • __cfduid

Stripe is our secure payment gateway. When you have initiated a checkout page, such as a course sales page, Stripe will trigger this cookie in order to track payments correctly.
  • __stripe_mid
  • __stripe_sid

Decline all Services
Accept all Services