I thought it would be interesting to do a quick Coles notes of what my next few years would entitle. Namely the preparation of my niche in society as a school psychologist. This is primarily due to the fact that I have just under two weeks before I embark on my journey to train in another profession. I thought it would be nice to solidify some of its responsibilities since they are required to be knowledgeable in quite a few areas.
One of my favorite areas is understanding child and adolescent development. For example, this would include Piaget’s cognitive stages encompassing such ideas as the sensorimotor stage (experiencing the world through movement and senses, via an egocentric perspective). I find it absolutely fascinating that children in this stage can not fathom anyone else’ point of view. This is also the area where the works/validity of Sigmund Freud have been debated. Development has been touched rather lightly within my meager 27 credits in psychology, so I would imagine that my Masters program will delve far deeper (albeit in a span of just 2 years, I am apprehensive just to how comprehensive it will get).
School psychology also touches base with education, family and parenting practices. This is an interesting avenue in that it requires practical methods of dealing with issues at home and the classroom.
School psychologists also work partially with the field of psychiatry, in the form of psychopathology. This includes the study of behavioral manifestations which indicate mental illness. I find this one slightly overwhelming, as it requires diagnosing such issues with the mind that I have little experience in a practical setting. Furthermore, my limited knowledge from textbooks is largely forgotten so it will require a large effort on my behalf to make myself fluent in its nature.
Learning theories are another aspect to which my BEd has covered in many forms. In yet another unfortunate aspect of my degree, I do not feel it was reinforced enough with practical components. It was enough to read the text book, but it was another to actually apply it in real world settings. I hope I do not fall behind on this area.
Personality theory is own of my favorite topics in psychology. It was actually one of the reasons I was able to enter the School Psychology program, through the help of my Personality/Social Psychology professor, Dr. Takahiko Masuda. I learned about the varying origins of personality (two years ago), which has largely been shunted aside in my head (unfortunately due to the lack of reinforcement). I will be quite excited to delve once more into this area. I’m actually excited enough now to go revive my old text book (thank goodness for not selling it!) for some late night reading.
The overall scheme of the school psychologist is to assess, consult in psychological and psychoeducational avenues, as well as provide psychotherapy (through which they use interpersonal relations with clients in increasing their well being). It is by far one of the most exciting things I have taken interest in and the next two years should be both familiar in topics, and fascinating in comprehensiveness.