A Career In Clinical Psychology – A Right Choice For Me
Psychology changes lives. It can be the catalyst to change a mindset, to solve a problem and to create a therapy. It has been argued that one in four will suffer from their mental health, and being able to effectively help to improve someone’s life is an opportunity that I’m not going to pass. Psychology offers vital tools which enable people to help themselves by delving deeper into their own mind and behaviour. I have a keen interest in Clinical Psychology, I enjoy working with people and being able to problem solve as part of a team. The ability to critically evaluate a situation, and come to a decision is a skill that I have enjoyed developing whilst at college and will develop further at University.
Whilst developing my personal understanding of the role of labelling in therapy settings and wider society, I was intrigued to find Rosenham’s (1973) study in which people viewed those with mental health conditions as a disorder which could not be cured or treated, as it was as part of their personality. I found this paper to be of great interest to me as I have a personal interest in the use of labels;not just in my study of psychology but also in my personal life. In my community, I have witnessed labels being used to a detrimental effect amongst adolescents. This has included the overuse of stop and search powers towards members of the BME community. I mention this because as in clinical psychology, the way some people are diagnosed in a psychological setting is not as patients themselves but the situations in which they find themselves in. Neither the person who has been unfairly labelled on the street nor the person who has found themselves in need of psychological therapy should be labelled or dehumanised because of that they cannot change.
Rosenham found that the insensitive use of labels showed how dehumanising actions can come as a result of such practices in places of treatment for mental health disorders. This leads me on to how the use of labels has been argued to be a contributing factor to body dysmorphic disorder. Among the deadliest of psychological disorders, with some of the highest rates of death that are directly attributable to the illness. Fawkner and McMurray (2002) argue that this disorder may be caused by gender roles, labelling and their subsequent portrayal in social media. I feel that this helps to show that the use of labelling is an important area of study and one which I feel passionately about, as it affects people from all walks of life. By understanding the use of labelling, one can hope to show patients that by taking control of these labels, they are being given the tools to make their lives better.
The dynamism of psychology has always interested me. Psychology has shown me the value of a more scientific approach to my wider thinking. Thus, widening my sociological understanding, enabling me to engage with methodological and hypothetical points with more prominent profundity. By combining the concepts of Bandura’s Social Learning Theory and Postman’s Childhood’s Disappearing Theory. I have found a deeper understanding of how the role of the media can lead to the identification with celebrity figures who conform to a ‘thin ideal, consequently creating vicariously reinforced behaviour among adolescents who have been exposed to social media due to social blurring. I have found that studying Sociology has helped me to contextualise the theories found in Psychology and helped me to think more critically. I volunteer with the Purple Penguin Club, a charity which offers respite to families with children who have learning disabilities. This work has given me the opportunity to develop my communication skills and respond to, at times, difficult situations.
I am self-motivated to help give the families of these children a chance for some respite in order to maintain their caring responsibilities. I have an interest in social media and see the constant social pressures which are placed on people. My interest in these platforms has helped to make me more aware of the use of labels and has combined my hobby of current affairs and academia.
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