9 Top Specializations in Psychology

The study of human psychology is a vast and detailed field, with several different branches and fields that you can spend years learning about and it would still not be enough. Career options are also varied, and include a lot of diverse jobs in different areas of society like prisons, educational institutions, workplaces, and for families and children. Psychologists help with encouraging people to do their best, dealing with interpersonal relationships, promoting job satisfaction, and handling mental health issues.

How to Choose a Specialization?

While the different scopes in psychology may be diverse and plenty, the standard traits and processes of human personality and behavior are usually constant, it’s only the application of the concepts that may vary. For instance, forensic psychology would be more focused at studying aspects of criminology and law, while child psychology would look at studying children and early development processes. 

Psychology Specializations

  1. Clinical Psychology – this is perhaps the most popular and common specialization that most psychology students choose. This field deals with mental health, psychological disorders, and behavior disorders. They work alongside psychiatrists with treatment procedures and therapy for patients with various health issues like depression, schizophrenia, or PTSD. while psychiatrists provide medical prescriptions, psychologists work with therapy and counselling processes. 

  2. Industrial Psychology – industrial or organizational psychology deals with workplace psychology, and involves handling employer-employee relations, training, and human resources. Industrial psychologists provide counseling sessions in a workplace, and work to improve job satisfaction, ensure a stress-free work environment, and keep track of the company’s regulations and employee policies making sure they aren’t overworking their employees, and are giving them right incentives. 

  3. Social Psychology – social psychologists handle societal issues and concerns like drug abuse or family counseling. They work for social welfare and in promoting good mental health and positive habits in the society as a whole. Social psychology is an excellent specialization to choose if you are interested in working with non profit organizations or charity groups.  

  4. Counselling Psychology – while most psychology careers may involve some form of counseling or the other, a specialization in this field would naturally provide more focused expertise. A trained counselor would be qualified to work in various corporate and educational settings, working with various issues like family counselling, career guidance, or even individual counseling that would help people with self esteem issues or recover from past trauma.  

  5. Child Psychology – child psychology or pediatric psychology deals with the psychology of children in their early ages and their early development process. Child psychology is often a part of educational psychology in some courses, because it greatly focuses on various learning stages and processes that the child goes through, including learning interpersonal skills, language development, and non verbal cues. Child psychology is a rather interesting field to major in if you are interested in working at schools and educational institutions. 

  6. Forensic Psychology – Forensic psychology has recently seen a surge of popularity because of pop culture and media. It studies criminal and deviant behavior, mental stability, and also analyses forensic details that may be required in a criminal investigation. Forensic psychologists often provide evidence in courts during criminal trials. They also work in domestic and child custody related cases. 

  7. Rehabilitative Psychology –  psychologists specialized in the field of addictions work with helping people with substance abuse problems. They work in rehabilitation centers, social welfare and outreach programs. Courses in addiction psychology would cover topics like addictive behavior, its causes and side effects, and also focus on the different mental health issues that may result from it.  

  8. Experimental Psychology – for those who are interested in research and further exploration in the subject, experimental psychology may be a good option. Here, students are taught the various research techniques and scientific questioning methods that are used in psychological experimentation. As interesting as it is, careers in this field would mostly be in academic areas, which means you only have limited options.   

  9. Sports Psychology – sports psychology relates athletic activities with mental well being. In this field, you would look at how different physical exercises affect a person’s psychological state. Sports psychologists also work with motivational counseling, and helping players recover from injuries.