Q & A

Psychology

Hello!

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.

Why Psychology?

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!

-Rosie

 

Ted Bundy, Killer Looks

crime

‘Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes’ were recently released in the form of a Netflix series, whilst many of us know of Theodore Bundy, the series recaptured the cases in a new light, interviewing the detectives, survivors and the people in Bundy’s personal life. Released just yesterday, I powered through them one after the other, and noticed the series was guilty of the reoccurring flaw in his case: romanticism.

What I Read in 2018

Lifestyle

If you know anything about me, it’s that I’m a bookworm, and whilst I’ve been demotivated to write about psychology because my course hasn’t been the most enticing, I have been able to get into casual reading again, and you’ll probably notice a theme. So for all you book lovers, of crime and otherwise, here’s what I read in 2018!

Coping at Christmas

Uncategorized

Christmas can be the most magical time of the year, and is personally my favourite holiday. Unfortunately, many people struggle around Christmas, and for many reasons. Whether they feel alone, have traumas related to Christmas or simply just want to feel something more, Christmas can be an awful time for a lot of people, and not just because of money stress. So here’s a few ways you can cope with this season and how we can support people around this time of year!

E is for Eating Disorders

Psychology

This post was meant to be made over a month ago, and has taken me a long time to process. See, there are more eating disorders than just the ones you see on TV, but you could spend forever really getting into all of it and I would want to write about each one as in depth as the next. So, instead we will be focussing on the definitions you need to know (what separates each diagnosis), what stereotypes we need to crush, how to detect the warning signs and how to get help.

Old Friends

Lifestyle, Personal, Psychology

Hello! It seems like it’s been forever since I’ve written, and truth be told I didn’t think I would be writing about this, I planned to make my next post about eating disorders but the topic got me a little stuck, and I guess my university assignments have put me into a writing rut. Anyway, today is more of a story time, so buckle up!

How Do I Talk To My Child?

Psychology

We’ve already spoken about what we can do to prepare us and help us maintain communication with our parents, but as a parent- what do you do? How can you help your child in an effective way without hurting them or being too overprotective (both which are harmful to them and you, as we see frequently in expressed emotion families in children with schizophrenia). Today’s topic will be a hard one, so please remember that whilst I’m not a professional nor a parent, I have been the child in the situation, and I do put a great deal of research into my posts.

We Need To Talk

Psychology

I’m going to try and keep this as short as I can. I don’t usually like to post when I’m in a bad mood, I hate to rant and publicise negativity if I can help it, although sometimes our leaders do get the better of me. This, however, needs to be said. I’ll be making calmer posts about labelling and relationships and all sorts of things but I feel like right now is the best time to get it out there.

How Do I Talk To My Parents?

Psychology

Whether you’re young or old, close or distant with your parents, you’ve probably tried to talk about something or another with your parent or guardian that you were too scared to talk about. Whilst I can’t offer advice that will cater to every family structure and every emotion you’ll feel on your journey through life, I can talk about what I did, how to combat the anxiety of such a situation and how to maintain communication about your problem, as it were. I will be following this up with a “How to” for parents so look out for part 2 which will address how to react to certain things your child might be going through and how you yourself can cope too!