Knowledge of psychology is invaluable because it doesn’t just help you treat your patients. It also makes you a better psychologist. If you’re exploring a career in this field, you’d want to know which characteristics will matter the most. Hence, we list the most important ones below. You’ll find that we have included both acquirable and innate characteristics on our list. That’s because we want you to have great success in this profession. Guess that makes us invested in your triumphs!
Here are the qualities that you should cultivate or polish if you already possess them:
Being Passionate about Learning
Competent psychologists make a lifelong commitment to learning. The biggest reason for doing so is that the emergence of new ideas and approach to therapy in this field is continuous. Therefore, if you want the best for the people who come to you for treatment, you must stay abreast of these improvements.
Usually, that happens in the form of:
- Seminars that you attend
- Evidence-based findings that you review in new researches
- Colleagues and experts whom you reach out to for consultation and discussion
Being a part of the field of psychology means having the necessary tools to help each type of client/situation you encounter. And believe us, you will come across many of them. Just wanting to help people won’t cut it every time. After all, drawing an inaccurate diagnosis or dispensing inappropriate advice can profoundly harm a client.
Aside from the research of others, you will also be conducting your own experiments. Record them to see what worked for a certain client and what didn’t. This will have two main advantages. Firstly, you will know which approach to try when another client with a similar problem shows up. Secondly, you can also match it with the results that other psychologists have experienced. Look for the differences that you had to incorporate to make the approach work for you. Psychology thrives on solutions customized for the individual and not the masses.
Moreover, trace out the areas that can benefit from more training. Great psychologists have great powers of self-awareness.
Analytical Skills Matter in Psychology
You’re a mental health professional, and you want your clients to get better. To do so correctly, you won’t just need to be a good communicator. Sharp analytic skills allow you to draw accurate inferences from the information a client gives to you and what you gather on your own. Thus, while you listen to what they’re saying, you should also excel at figuring out what they aren’t sharing. Your skills will assist you in putting that information into context and to use. Additionally, it will also aid you to create solutions for change.
Creating a Sense of Trust
When psychologist, Bruce Wampold, condensed large numbers of studies, they realized that success in the application of psychology boils down to particular qualities. While his findings are a baker’s dozen, we mention just two of those characteristics.
One of the ingredients is the ability to create a sense of trust. If a client feels like they cannot trust you, that feeling can balloon up, and impediment progress. Effective psychologists can nudge their clients to the right decision. You must do this both verbally and non-verbally and in the first few minutes of meeting them!
Think about the vibes you may be pointing at your clients. Are they positive? Do they reassure the newcomer? Are they indicating that developing a good working relationship with you is possible? What is your body language screaming at the client? Be mindful of all these clues.
Ethics is an Essential Part of Psychology
Professionals in the healthcare industry use their ethics as a compass. You may not be operating on a patient physically, but your actions and behavior can have long-reaching effects. Therefore, you must treat your role in your clients’ lives with enormous respect and responsibility. To illustrate, your abilities can change lives. You help put people back together when they are at their most vulnerable. So, you should employ a strong ethical code to make sure everything you say or suggest or do is done with the safety and well-being of your patients in mind.
Committed to the Development of Consistent Treatment Plans
The initial stages of your treatment of a client or patient are great for forming an assessment of them. Then, you can use your analysis to develop a treatment plan for that particular individual. Effective therapists aren’t just great at this. They’re equally skilled at making the client/patient a part of the process. When you share that treatment plan with them, weigh the feedback they give. If they feel uncertain about an approach you will try to assist them, they won’t be as committed towards improvement or change through it.
Answering their questions about the said approach will go a long away. Removing any confusions about the practices can help increase their confidence in you. Additionally, there will a much lower risk of the client not complying with your recommendations. In short, commitment from both the patient and the therapist is important for success.
An Understanding of Balance is Crucial in Psychology
Balance, for all types of psychologists, is crucial, regardless of the specialty they choose. For example, in a clinical setting, this balance must be present between the psychologist’s emotions and reason. Or, it can come into play when they employ flexibility while establishing clear boundaries. Off-site, balance can mean correctly managing their private and professional lives. During research to find the most appropriate method of treatment, it takes the form of knowing too much about a patient and not enough.
As you see, not all of these qualities are innately found in great psychologists. That means you can develop them if you’re willing to go to work. On the other hand, should you already have these skills, then you’re ready to enroll into an online psychology degree. Want to make sure psychology is for you? Or need help in choosing the right sub-field for specialization? Let’s talk!