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Cici -
September 5, 2000
8:30 pm
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spurzee21
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Hey Cici!! This is Hillary again. Here's my questions :

- what type of personality do you think a person needs to become a psychologist??

- what type of classes do you recommend I take now as I'm in high school??

- what do you think you'll like most about this profession??

- what do you think you'll like least??

- how many hours do you think you'll work, on average??

- what do you think your salary will be (per week)??

Thank you so much for replying!! If you have anything else that you wanna add, just do so, I appreciate everything I can learn now!!

~Hillary!~

September 6, 2000
9:52 am
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Cici
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Well, the main issue in psychology is empathy: the ability to feel what someone else is feeling.

Did you know that the number one profession of those who committ suicide is psychology adn psychiatry? The majority of people who seek out this profession have had to deal with very severe problems themselves. Many women were raped or sexually assaulted (like myself), or had to deal with parents or loved ones who had severe problems.

This is a key issue because this gives you the ability to see and feel the problems of others very keenly.

In high school youshould take any AP/IB psychology class offered. All the basic sciences, especially biology and chemistry (physics isn't so important). Well, to behonest I think that every class is important. The key is that you find meaning in every class. The wider your knowledge base, the more information you have available to understand where your patients are coming from.

I have a lot of misgivings about this profession, especially as I progress through college and volunteer. I'm applying for a position as a sexual assaultpeer educator and you have to deal with a lot of mental and physical brutality. It's very depressing sometimes (hence, this profession has highest suicide rates).

The hours you work depends on where you work. Private practice takes a lot of long hours, building a client-base and reviewing cases. Hospital work and social work is even more grueling, because you get very little pay.

Pay scale is, again, varied. Psychiatrists, being that they have to go to medical school, can make as much as most doctors. Psychologists and social workers and guidance counselors make much less.

I would advise you to go volunteer at an AIDS clinic, a halfway house, a rehabilitative center for drug addicts. Any place where you are required to help others. It will give you an idea of whether or not you can handle the stress and pressure. It's difficult to support others when they can't support themselves.

I also have to put in here that very few people end up doing what they want to do in high school. In college you tend to learn a lot more about yourself and your limits.

I don't know how much I'll work, personally, since I have a medical disability. I knew a socail worker at the VA Hospital I volunteered at in high school who worked 60 hours a week.

September 6, 2000
5:52 pm
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spurzee21
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Thank you, again, for all the info you gave me!! I had no idea that this profession had the highest suicide rate!! And I can see what you mean, on a lot of topics that you explained. Thanx again!!

~Hillary!~

September 12, 2000
11:01 pm
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stumpymole
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FIRST OFF HILLARY I AM VERY IMPRESSED THAT YOU HAVE TAKEN THE TIME TO LEARN NOW ABOUT THIS PROFESSION AT YOUR AGE. YOU HAVE MORE GUSTO TO LEARN ABOUT PSYCHOLOGY AT YOUR AGE THAN SOME OF THE PEOPLE I GRADUATED WITH WHO LEFT COLLEGE WITH A BS IN PSYCH, YET GET ANOTHER OPINION BECAUSE READING WHAT CICI WROTE I SAW CICI WROTE NOTHING POSITIVE ABOUT THIS FIELD IN WHICH MUCH EXISTS. GOOD LUCK TO YOUR FUTURE.

September 13, 2000
10:17 am
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Cici
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I just wanted to stress that the common image of psychologists in leather chairs calmly taking in problems and igving out sage advice isn't really the reality. A lot of my classmates entered this field because they thought it was an easy major, but it is difficult to deal with coping disorders and mental anguish every day.

The positive side? You get to help people. You get to help them turn pain raw wounds into healed scars that they can deal wih and draw strength from.

But the reality of this field, like medicine, is not prety. It doesn't smell nice or look nice. It's gritty and harsh. But it rewarding from an INTRINSIC standpoint. You get out what you invest. It should be about money, or happy niceness. It's about dealing with pain and heling people work through that. And that means you're next to them every step of teh way.

I'm incensed because I love this profession. I have devoted my life to it because I really care about it, but I'm not going to prance along with illusions about what I deal with.

September 13, 2000
12:55 pm
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Molly
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Cici, was right is discussing the negative aspects. The clinic that I worked at you can see the stress has taken its toll on the counselors, the emotional always effects the physical. You deal with the consequences of peoples actions, and some times there is nothing that you can do, and that is frustrating, you get to the point that all of society has gone to the toilet. I have never experienced such a wide range of emotions, from the break through, to the abused child, the power of influencing another persons life, is unequalled, the trust levels with the clients can make your personal relations seem shallow. The injustices of the society make you want to scream, and confuse you as to what side your on. When I quit the clinic, and moved, I had no idea what my caseload of 50 had contributed to my life, I know that sounds some what unethical, however the daily validation, that I made a difference, even if I just said hello, is not something that you can find in many other professions. Empathy is the key componet, and unfortunately, it comes usually from your life experience. It is funny though, I was always going to focus on Sociology when I was in high school, and darn if some how I didn't get back on that tract 20 years later, with this drug war, I find it facinating, and that is my speciality, both parents were alcoholics, Now just like the movie analyzie this, I am having a hard time fitting back into the world of counseling because I have worked with the hard core heroin addicts, and I guess because I did my internship at the California Youth Authority, I ended up working with this population, but that is addiction, and what I learned in school, was nothing compared to the clinic. It is grossly underpaid, but such a challenge.

September 21, 2000
7:16 pm
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spurzee21
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Stumpymole ~ thank you for your interest in my message!! Do you have any other advice for me!?! Thanx again

~Hillary!~

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