Welcome to my 50th post! I’ve been working on various q&a for a while now, compiling my most asked questions about psychology and mental health so finally here we are! It felt pretty appropriate for a 50th post so let’s get into it~
I’m thinking of doing a degree in Psychology, is it worth it?
In my opinion, it is. Whilst the university I attend is pretty awful value for money, the resources and reading recommendations have helped me discover more things about my subject and while you can find these alone, having deadlines and critical thinking tasks is helpful. If you need a degree to pursue what you want to do and enjoy psychology I’d say bite the bullet for the qualifications. A lot of people I know love the subject, it just depends on where you study and aren’t thinking you’re going into a course on mental health because a lot of people have no idea what they’re getting into.
What do you want to do with your degree?
I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve been asked this? Most of the icebreakers and introductions include this question. The grand answer is I want to pursue a masters in Clinical psychology. I want to change the face of mental health services and give people the help they deserve.
Side note: please stop telling me it’s a good time to get into the field. I’m here to help people not to exploit them because there’s finally more acceptance. I find it really offensive when people say it’s a good time to get into mental health. It’s always a good time to help anyone.
What’s the difference between a counsellor and a clinical psychologist?
Of course, I couldn’t just leave that question alone, this is one that comes a lot and I actually had a whole lecture on. Counselling is a form of psychotherapy. Clinical psychology is sort of the study of this, the application of science and theory to further our understanding and promotion of good health. Those practising the subject most often become glorified counsellors who do research and can diagnose patients as well as treating them.
Well, either you’ve never met me or you’ve never heard me being loud about how I love the subject! I find it so so interesting and I’ve always been passionate about people and their brains. I always wanted to go into a health area and help people, I just so happened to encounter so many people I wanted go change the world for. In one of my counselling sessions at college, whilst I was applying to midwifery, the woman said that I was wasting my potential and that I had such a heart and brain for mental health and I’ve had a lot of people tell me I should become a therapist so not to toot my own horn? It’s a calling, I guess one might say.
How can you tell if you have an illness?
For most people, it’s a case of feeling not quite right and seeking medical attention, getting a professional diagnosis. A lot people dismiss struggles that aren’t labelled, which is complete nonsense if you ask me. If you think something is wrong? You know yourself and there probably is something, but don’t jump to any conclusions and scare yourself! Do some research and talk to people in the know. Now you just need to think about how to go about treating the issue.
Do my food choices effect my mental wellness?
The short answer is: most probably! The long answer is: I’ve been working on a post on food for so long I don’t want to spoil it!
Can seeing a psychologist be harmful?
Whilst I often talk about my experiences in therapy being very positive, we never actually consider that therapy may be harmful. Surprisingly, there aren’t many, if any, studies that I could find that talk about negative effects of therapy. So many studies prove, or try to prove, that therapies are effective, and I actually discussed this in my last essay assignment. However, there isn’t any research into whether it is harmful. Some have speculated that being a minority sometimes leaves clients feeling as though it isn’t effective as their therapist cannot fully understand their upbringing, sexuality, culture etc. My personal answer would be that it can be in very specific, badly executed situations, for example if we use flooding for phobias incorrectly sometimes the person can develop an even worse phobia. Some may react badly to recapping their pasts, digging up past traumas or being forced to re-live traumatic events, but for the most part therapists tend to continue to make sure that even if this step backwards occurs, they make two steps forwards. Sometimes therapy is ineffective, or even dangerous for others in the cases of psychopaths, but therapy is generally a very useful tool that shouldn’t be feared.
Does language make a difference in behaviour?
This question refers specifically to the example of negative language being used on children. For example, should we tell children not to do something if it could plant the idea of doing it in their mind? Or should we direct them to what they should do, issue praise and use language that only alludes to positive actions. The answer, in short, is yes. We see in Skinner’s rats experiment that positive reinforcement plays an active role in behaviour. We see in Bandura’s Bobo Doll experiment that children mimic their role models. We see in our every day lives that children are more likely to do something if the idea is presented to them; countless studies suggest that praise and positive language effects our behaviour, and I for one can vouch for this in myself. This probably isn’t the right answer, I’m not a behavioural psychologist, nor can I vouch for every single one of my answers being accurate, but this is what I have learnt and speculated.
What creates everyone’s personalities?
This is… such a huge question. I don’t think we can really answer this without truly knowing what makes us individuals and what our conscious is, what makes us sentient, and for the most part? We have no idea! Various psychologists of this field devised the different personality types, tests etc. However, it is my opinion that you can’t possibly put billions of people into a couple of categories. From my own reading, I believe we are shaped by our personal experiences, our upbringings, the beliefs and actions that are implanted into us by those who raise us, and possibly to some extent our genetics. For example, my experiences in mental illness have given me this love and desire to learn about the human condition, my parents gave me my (awful) sense of humour, my charisma and my love for people, I was raised in a household where we were praised for our achievements and encouraged, so I have drive and determination, though perhaps I’ve never achieved academically, I pursued the academic route to employ-ability through a degree in Psychology. I hope this answer makes sense!
Why have I forgotten how to ride a bike?
Of all types of memory, we often assume our procedural memory is ever lasting; that we will always know how to do certain things, automatic actions. Sometimes this isn’t the case! Our procedural memory relies on unconscious memories such as muscle memory, and when we expect to just jump back into something we learnt years ago, we try and conjure conscious memories of a procedure that is no longer encoded in our ‘conscious’ memory. No one can truly explain why this happens, but from my reading I would say that it’s a case of trying to retrieve memories from the wrong area or that you really have just forgotten it, as often we do with so many other things!
I hope this post has intrigued all of you, thank you so much for your continued support for my blog! If you have any more questions just comment them below and I’ll add them!