Forensic Psychology - Essay Example

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The field of psychology offers a vast number of options for those choosing to enter it. These options fall into one of three fields: psychological researcher, psychological instructor, or psychological practitioner. …
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Forensic Psychology
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Forensic Psychology The field of psychology offers a vast number of options for those choosing to enter it. These options fall into one of three fields: psychological researcher, psychological instructor, or psychological practitioner. While I believe I would be comfortable in all fields, my career goals aim me toward psychological practitioner. Eventually, I would like to enter the field of forensic psychology. Becoming a forensic psychologist will take a lot of work, as it is a rapidly changing field. For this reason, and to become certified to practice on my own, I will need to continue my education.
Each area of psychology offers a different atmosphere, and I believe I would be comfortable in all three. Research allows a psychologist to stay at the front of the field, examining and postulating on human behavior. It is also tedious work, and the results can be very disappointing. While I find it an excellent option, I would like to see the results of my work more clearly. Working as a psychological instructor appeals to me, and is something I would consider doing in conjunction to working in the field. As a teacher, you are able to stay caught up on research from throughout psychology, and also able to influence the next generation of psychologists. However, working as a psychological practitioner is my primary goal. I have always wanted to be able to work in the field, and be able to use my degree to make a difference in people's lives. While research and teaching both allow that to some degree, being able to really step into and help change peoples lives is why I got involved in psychology, and why I want to be a forensic psychologist.
I have chosen the field of forensic psychology, because I want to be able to actually step in and use my skills to make a difference. There are several sub-fields in forensic psychology, although the one of primary interest to me is criminal investigative psychology, or dealing with primarily criminal profiling and police work. As a forensic psychologist, I will need to be able to use all of my training to make diagnoses of competency, in the case of criminals about to stand trial, to be able to understand people enough to consult with attorneys in jury selection, and be able to help law enforcement with criminal profiling, which takes a detailed understanding of human behavior (Diviny, 1).
To become a forensic psychologist, I will need to have a doctoral degree, so that I can be licensed to work on my own, without a supervisor. I will need to take classes such as criminal law, criminology, statistics, research methods, and as many human behavior classes as possible. I should also try to find work in the field as an undergraduate, so that I will have some experience on my resume before entering graduate school.
Ideally, in the next year or so I will be able to fit the academic requirements into my schedule. After I have several psychology classes, I will then apply for a job or internship in the field of psychology, most likely as a caseworker, or something similar. At that time, I will reevaluate my decision to enter forensic psychology, and if I am still interested, will start applying to the schools I am interested, for a Psy.D in forensic psychology.
There are not many schools in the United States that offer a degree in forensic psychology. The three primary programs are the California School of Professional Psychology, Widener University, and Sam Houston State University. At this point I am unsure as to which would be the best choice for me, since each one is better at a different sub-section of forensic psychology, and I may yet change my mind as to where I want to go.
I do know, however, that psychology is a vast field, in which there are hundreds of options, all of which allow us to help others. I do not believe I could be bored with a career anywhere in psychology, and I look forward to finding my niche.
Works Cited

Diviny, L. (2000). Careers in forensic psychology. Retrieved May 02, 2006, from West Chester University Web site: Read More
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