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What is a psychologist? This is what makes it useful

What is a psychologist? This is what makes it useful

July 19, 2024

Psychology is an area full of myths, in part perhaps because of the broad scope of this field of knowledge and intervention. That is why, although there is much talk about this type of professionals, many people still do not know what a psychologist is . It is a field of work that some relate to cruel experiments, others with sessions of interpretation of dreams and others even with almost shamanic rituals.

However, at present the work of psychologists has nothing to do with that. Far have been the times in which psychotherapy therapy sessions were based on the "spoken cure" proposed by the followers of Freud, and, despite the influences of postmodern relativism, ancestral rituals have never become part of this science.

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What is a psychologist? An aid to understand it

Next, we will review the question of what psychologists are and what they do, going through the fundamental characteristics of this profession.

Psychologists and the relationship with mental health

The figure of the psychologist is often associated with mental health and the fact of receiving in his office people with disorders such as depression, bipolarity, etc. This can make confuse their work with that of psychiatrists . However, psychology promotes health through programs that in the end are forms of training, or sophisticated education.

For example, a person with depression is helped to go through the phases of their disorder mitigating the negative effects of this phenomenon, a person with a phobia is taught to reduce the level of fear and anxiety felt, etc. From psychiatry, on the other hand, it is about influencing the organism in a more direct way, modifying it physically or chemically.

It is clear that this is not the only difference between psychologists and psychiatrists, but one that helps to capture the essences of these teachers. On the other hand, it should be noted that mental health is just one of the many areas where Psychology works.

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Research on broad themes

What is it that is dedicated to studying Psychology? If we had to look for a summarized version of the answer to this question, this would be "human behavior", understanding behavior as thoughts and emotions, not just physical movements. However, there are also many psychologists who are responsible for studying the behavior of non-human animals, and even some who study some to better understand others.

The relationship with the unconscious

The current Psychology does not work with the Freudian conception of the unconscious in the human mind , since it rejects the idea that the mind can be divided into entities with their own agenda of interests. Instead, it works assuming that in the mental processes the non-consciousness is normal (as it is in other animal species) and that consciousness only takes center stage for some things in our life, that in which we focus attention on each moment.

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Psychologists are not counselors or sorcerers

Psychology is not a profession characterized by giving advice, but, as we have already seen, train and educate in adaptive ways to face challenges , and not in concrete ways of acting in front of them. For example, they help to manage the stress produced by participating in a program of professional promotions, but they do not indicate at all times how to act to maximize the options of winning the boss's favor.

In the same way, they do not make important life decisions for the client based on their "wisdom" or anything similar. The big decisions must be made by oneself.

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It does not intervene only in biology

Psychologists do not try to detect a "piece" damaged in the minds of their patients, in the same way that a mechanic with his car would. Instead, they observe the behavioral habits of this and their way of relating to the outside to detect relationships that, by their content or by the way in which they occur, generate a focus of social or psychological problems.

For example, a person who tends to believe that everything bad that happens to him is his fault exclusively has a pattern of unhealthy relationships on which he intervenes.The problem is the dynamic that is established between one and the external world, and not a particular part of your brain.

Although parts of your nervous system can act abnormally, this is the result of the habits you are used to, it does not have to be the cause. So, psychologists they tend to act from events towards biology, and not vice versa .

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