Some Common Challenges Faced by Psychology Students in the Field

Some Common Challenges Faced by Psychology Students in the Field


Psychology is one among various different subjects like physics, chemistry, and biology. It can be studied by both, the arts/humanities and the science students, even by the students with commerce background. The Psychology student’s studies about the human mind and behaviour. The subject includes studying what and how the other organisms think, feel, act and react, even interact with others and what really motivates them in doing so.

Also, psychology has different branches in it like clinical, counselling, organizational, forensic and so on, and has a much wider scope now as compared to earlier times. Psychology is both research as well as practical based, allowing psychology students to learn about various theoretical concepts and theories of most famous psychologists like Carl Rogers, William James, Sigmund Freud, and also do research on multiple topics by conducting experiments on subjects, either animals or human beings.

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Psychology degree provides an individual with necessary skills used to pursue various different careers

They learn to empathize with others and are generally great listeners, who practice the skills of active listening without interrupting the client much. They study about various personalities and the tests that could help determine other people’s personality learn about several mental illnesses and conditions, symptoms of mental disorders and syndromes. Psychology students prepare themselves for the day they could be able to provide therapy and counselling to others when they required.

Different areas where psychology students can do internships to learn and gain practical knowledge includes clinics, schools, NGOs, social support and services and even private settings to provide therapy.

Issues faced by psychology students

1. Getting underwhelming responses from people due to misconceptions related to the field of psychology:

There is no proper guidance or awareness in the field of psychology due to which there are so many misconceptions in the minds of the people related to the field of psychology. Psychology students while talking about their professions had to face questions by other people like ‘can you as a psychology student read my mind?’, ‘are you really studying me at the moment? I am scared’ or ‘psychologists are doctors of crazy people, aren’t they?’

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So in some way or the other, psychology students gets tired of answering such questions asked by people and telling them again and again that psychology is not about reading mind and there is a fine line between astrology and psychology could be overwhelming for psychology students and mental practitioners to some extent.

2. Heavy workload and excessive coursework:

Heavy workload and vast syllabus to study for exams could lead to overwhelming responses among psychology students. Researchers demonstrates that graduate students from healthcare, background, especially those enrolled in clinical doctoral programs experiences fatigue and are more vulnerable to mental and physical burnout as compared to other students of different backgrounds.

It could be due to many reasons such as attending daily lectures in university, completing the coursework, dense reading of theoretical concepts involved in psychology programs, preparing for university exams, doing researches and writing dissertations and along with that, tutoring others as well.

3. Not enough subjects or research participants

Every research requires an appropriate number of participants. No research could be made possible without participants and in order to get participants, psychology students must have a proper social network in and outside the field of psychology and the participants involvement in the research must be voluntary. People generally aren’t willing to participate in research and those psychology students who might not have a large social network finds it difficult to gather as much response as they want to complete the researches.

4. Growing competition and difficulties in getting Paid internships:

This is one of the most common issue faced by psychology students. The competition in the field of psychology is growing rapidly due to It’s expanding scope and limited number of seats in grad and undergrad programs. For students to get into top universities and pursue higher studies, they have to prepare and sit for competitive exams which can be mentally exhausting and overwhelming at times.

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Psychology students worry about securing good placements. Multiple internships, works like a backbone for psychology students to gain the right experience and necessary exposure and so getting good internship opportunities is the major concern for psychology students. it’s not easy to get paid internships for psychology students to practice and enhance their skills in real life settings.

6. Too many options, too little guidance:

Choice overload or over choice leads to delay in decision making and sometimes even leads to making wrong decisions as too many choices overwhelms the person and shuts their mind. Psychology is somewhat a new field and is yet to spread it’s root within the education system fully. Due to this very reason, there is less guidance and clarity in the minds of people about what to pursue and what is good for them.

Since psychology is applied and used in almost every other field of work, it is considered to be a vast subject having multiple branches and fields within it that creates confusion, decreased satisfaction and leads to improper decision making while choosing specific field and causes stress in the life of psychology students.

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7. Exposure to sensitive topics via textbooks and lectures while studying psychology:

Psychology is all about studying human behaviour by humans. Although, it’s an advantage for psychology students as they get to know about themselves as well as others well, but it can also make them cautious and provides discomfort when they identify themselves with the content of textbook being studied. Psychology students often wonder “what if I have this condition too?”

It is important to study and get aware of various mental disorders like depression and anxiety disorders, but studying about the symptoms and conditions sometimes may triggers or upsets the psychology students if any of their nowns or they themselves are going through or suffered from such conditions. Even if it’s not the case, studying about mental health issues in psychology brings the students face to face with tough and challenging concepts, making them require emotional resilience and some time off to practice self care to be able to take care of their own mental health.

Solutions for the problems faced by psychology students more often

“Does psychology students need solutions to their problems as well? why don’t they just read their own psychology notes” they say. No, it doesn’t work this way. Psychology students, too, face vulnerability to stress and anxiety, often becoming overwhelmed by the burden of excessive work and other life problems.

Here are list of strategies to cope up with most of the problems faced by psychology students:
Learn time management skills and develop a proper routine to follow everyday:

Balance is the key to achieve anything in life. Divide the work according to its efficiency and assign fixed time interval to do that particular work. List priorities and do the important task first. Approaching it this way will make the task feel less burdensome and ensure efficient completion.

Practice self-care:

When the coursework and the topics of textbook feels too much or if one is having trouble in making clear judgements about the subject, it’s best to take some time off and spend time with oneself. Practice self-care routines and engage in mind calming activities.

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Start applying for internships at the right time:

Visit different institutions, rehabilitation centres and mental hospitals for internships and ask for their procedures of applying for internships. Talk to professors and other people from psychology background, including seniors, asking them for their guidance and experiences.

Create networks by socializing enough:

Interact with others in person or even on social media as much as one can. It’ll help in gathering responses at the time of research and it may also help in finding the right opportunities through others in the field of psychology or other different backgrounds.


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