Tips for Studying Psychology: What to Start With
Life has many facets, and the internal world of every human is one of its most important components. Despite the fact that this world remains a mystery, people go on trying to understand it. Some people want to see motives of others, some want to help their dearest overcome soul wounds, some want to know how it interact with people better, and some learn how to understand them well.
And psychology is what can help you come closer to these goals as this science studies and explores human nature. But those who start studying psychology need to be prepared for serious and hard work. The very beginning of this process is one of the main problems on the way. And in this article our authors of psychology essays want to tell you how to start studying psychology on your own.
Psychology: Start of Studies and Principles of a Psychologist
The first and the most important step on the way of studying psychology is to understand why you need to study it at all. First of all, you need to know and understand your personal motivation. What is your reason:
- Children’s psychology?
- Correct child guidance?
- Maintaining better relations with people around?
- Building a harmonious family?
- Reaching business successes?
- Helping people solve their problems?
- Daring to personal growth and development?
- Gaining a new qualification and profession?
There can be many reasons for you to master the basics of psychology, and you need to determine them on your own by looking deep into your mind. Psychology means a skill of working with the human’s inner world, and you need to start from your own one.
The other side of this question is ethics: do you want to study psychology for yourself and to know how to improve your life, or you wish to know how to influence others? The second goal may seem to be less ethical as it concerns relations with other people.
Here are some principles for every psychologist to stick to, no matter if they work with themselves or other people:
- Competence. As a psychologist, you shouldn’t go in for what you don’t know. Focus only on things included into the circle of your responsibilities and do not break ethical norms. Plus, you can’t start offering your help to people after only starting your psychological studies;
- No estimation. You need to accept every person on “as is” basis. You can’t make your patients equal or label them. People treated like that close their inner world from others forever. You will not help but hurt them;
- Voluntariness. You have no rights to make someone interact with you or to impose your viewpoint on them. A person herself decides to work or not to work with a psychologist;
- Confidentiality. Absolutely all information you have about other people must remain private between you and them. It is not allowed to disclose information and to publish it for third parties;
- Selflessness. Everything you are going to know about people working with you can’t be used with commercial purposes or for any other profits. Otherwise, you can cause permanent harm to the other person and to your reputation as well.
Advising you where to start studying psychology, we need to say that newbies in this science have to work on themselves tirelessly and to go on developing required qualities. Without knowing yourself, you can’t ever get closer to the understanding of other people.
It is impossible to understand the science about humans if you don’t love humans. This love is shown through sincerity, the ability to put yourself on other people’s shoes and to imagine their emotions and feelings. The abilities of self-reflection and self-analysis are equally important: these skills allow you to deal with your own states and actions.
When interacting with other people, as a psychologist you need to keep a certain distance. Only when staying distanced from a client (physically, psychologically, emotionally, etc.), a psychologist is able to take an objective look on the state of a collocutor and to notice their inner moods.
Of course, theoretical and practical psychological sciences have many other principles and rules, but they all lead you to only one conclusion. Studying and using psychological knowledge is useful not only for a researcher, but for all other people he or she somehow interacts with.
Studying Psychology: Basic Knowledge
It is not important what you want to devote your time to in the future: to learn children’s psychology, personality psychology, or social psychology. You need to know the basics first. So, you can start from mastering them, and these basics lie in general psychology.
General psychology investigates patterns of appearance, development, and functioning of human psychology through theory and experiments. This area provides general definitions, terms, criteria, principles, methods, and laws of psychology. Only after mastering them and gaining basic knowledge, you will be able to use them, to make your own conclusions, to solve problems, and to study other areas consciously.
Books are what you need to start studying psychology. There is an incredible amount of literature. There are many excellent psychological manuals that can help you to start. Their authors are the world’s most prominent scientists: Alfred Adler, Carl Gustav Jung, Karen Horney, Erich Fromm, and of course, Sigmund Freud.
Along with the basic information, you can find many interesting, unusual, and wondering things in manuals. And it all is going to be useful to you in practice.
An important note to literature searching: today there are thousands of books on psychology, and it is very important to differ worthy works from dilettante garbage. So, if you get interested in a certain book, find out everything you can about its author. It is better to choose works of professional psychologists having not less than ten years of experience and academic authority behind their backs. Such authors are reliable so you can follow their ideas.