The study and practice of psychology relates to the scientific evaluation and understanding of human thought processes. Psychology should not be mistaken with psychiatry which studies the physiological side of mental health and well being, or other allied fields. Psychology studies focus on why people think the way they do, what different thoughts and emotions mean to individuals and how this influences the choices the individual makes. Psychology can be applied to help people make positive career decisions, select suitable candidates for jobs, help athletes visualise success in competition or even to understand the thought process of those individuals with a criminal history.
Psychology involves a scientific approach to understanding what makes people think, feel and act as they do. A psychologist may work in a number of different fields in order to help people to face mental challenges, gain confidence in their work and career choices or help people who have a criminal history to understand their behaviour and adopt a new way of thinking as a part of their rehabilitation.
The practice of clinical psychology is focussed largely on improved mental health and well-being. Clinical psychologists can work with individuals that are recovering from substance abuse issues, are facing mental health challenges such as depression, as well as studying and collecting scientific data relating to individuals that have psychological disorders that prohibit the improvement of their mental health and well-being. This area of study is quite broad, as clinical psychology can also refer to the study of psychology and the presentation of research, as well as work done with patients.
The field of occupational psychology considers how people interact in the work environment, how people respond to the mental challenges of leadership, how people set and achieve work goals, as well as how people can develop in their career and find fulfilling roles that utilise their individual strengths. Occupational psychologists may also be involved in studying organisational dynamics, carrying out research into how people feel about an organisation and how they respond to corporate ideology. When working with individuals, the occupational psychologist would try to improve efficiency and boost people’s sense of value within the workplace.
Athletes who are training for high level sporting competition, either individually or as a team member, may find they benefit from the expertise of a sport psychologist. A sports psychologist is a specialist who has a strong understanding of the psychological aspect of sports performance, as well as how sport participation impacts individuals’ well-being. The application of sports psychology can help an athlete to set goals, visualise their success and help the sportsperson to manage the emotions of success and failure.
Through the application of psychology across the many different areas in which psychologist can specialise, this science can be implemented to help individuals can gain increased understanding and improve their mental processes. Whether the goal is overcoming drug or alcohol addiction, achieving maximum potential in the sporting arena or achieving success as a manager and leader in the workplace, psychology offers insight into thought processes and thereby helps the individual to achieve their goals. With the guidance of an expert, individuals become more focussed and better to implement strategies to visualise and achieve goals and objectives that are important to them.