Areas of Specialization

Areas of Specialization

Students who continue their education beyond Langara College and go on to graduate school could hold positions in the following areas of specialization.

Clinical psychologists:

Often work with children or adults in institutions, for example, mental health clinics, psychiatric hospitals, and rehabilitation units. Many are in private practice, assessing and treating individuals with a wide variety of problems such as depression or anxiety.

Clinical Neuropsychology:

A a new specialty branch within the subfield of clinical psychology. It deals with the assessment and management of brain damaged patients.

Counselling Psychology:

Aims to assist people in dealing with everyday circumstances and problems, and not with serious disorders. Counselling psychologists assist people in the alleviation of their anxieties, and encourage them to develop independent means of solving problems and crises in their lives. Counselling psychologists work with individuals, couples, families and groups; some work privately, others in counselling organizations and academic or school settings, whilst others are employed within business organizations.

Educational psychologists:

Often work under a local school board where they assess children from preschool to senior secondary schools. They assess children with learning problems and consult with grade school and high school teachers and parents on strategies for remedial work. Some may work as private consultants.

School psychologists:

Identify learning disabilities and behavioural problems among pupils in the school system and consult with psychiatrists, public health nurses and social workers, depending on the nature of the problem.

Forensic Psychology or Criminal Psychology:

A relatively new, but rapidly growing field dealing with the relation of psychology and the law. Forensic psychologists may work psychiatric hospitals, private practice, law enforcement agencies, or penal institutions, reporting on the psychological status of defendants who are suspected of having a mental disorder with implications for a trial. Some forensic psychologists provide treatment until the defendant is ready to stand trial.

On behalf of law enforcement agencies, forensic psychologists may debrief victims or witnesses who have been traumatized or can not otherwise submit to questioning. They may construct psychological profiles of suspects and help identify patterns in serial crimes. In penal institutions, forensic psychologists use psychometric tests to assess prisoners and carry out treatment programmes for prisoners. The emphasis, both in prisons and the community is usually on rehabilitation and prevention of recidivism.

Industrial or organizational psychologists:

Are in business, industry, private consulting and government. They do research on employees, perform appraisals on them, advise on employee morale, satisfaction and efficiency and submit results to senior management. They devise tests or validate existing tests which may then be used to assess prospective employees or current employees who wish to apply for advanced positions. Often the psychometric assessment instruments and the behavioural rating scales used are unique to the problems encountered by a particular business, department or industry.

Research psychologists:

Work in universities or private companies. The kind of research they do depends on the career choice they made from among the many subfields within psychology. University faculty may work on problems with no immediate practical application, but they also teach with the object of training future psychologists. Sometimes university psychologists do consulting work or act as private practitioners outside the university. Company psychologists would normally work on problems of interest to their industry.