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Trends in Psychology and Psychologists

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There are some cases where people think that the best way to deal with their mental issues is to keep it within themselves. However, that is not the best solution for all cases. It is a fact that bottling up your emotions could increase the risk of getting a heart disease or some forms of cancer and have serious negative effects oh your health (Chapman, Fiscella, Kawachi, Duberstein, & Muennig, 2013). For everyone's mental and physical health, people should take their feelings and emotions out through talking to someone or seeking help. This is where Psychologists are needed. Psychologists conduct research, experiment about the human mind and behavior, and provide counseling to promote the well-being of people and improve mental health. Psychologists are essential because we are complex beings, no other animal brain is capable of functioning with high consciousness as we do, and it's not easy to understand and express ourselves. The study and practice that they do help people become more aware of their mind and conscious for mental prosperity.

Psychology occupation is relatively large in size because there are many fields in psychology that people can specialize and work in. The employment of psychologists was 21,600, and the total employees were 10,700 in 2014 with the average retirement age being 63. Clinical psychology is one of the most popular specialty areas. They are in charge of evaluating and treating mental illnesses and work in hospital or health center to assess conditions of individuals or families. Another popular area in this occupation is experimental psychology. Psychologists in this field area are interested in conducting research about the behavior of humans and animals. Other areas include forensic psychology, developmental psychology, industrial psychology, and so on. Psychologist choosing to work in private practice is continuing to increase over time. In 2010, the percentage of the psychologist who stated that private practice is their primary job was 41%, which is a dramatic increase from 1960, when the percentage was just 17% (Norcross & Karpiak, 2012). This career is part of a larger group called Social and community service professionals (NOC 415). According to the labor force survey (2015), in Canada, union rate for this group is 52%

Psychologists are responsible for advocating mental well-being by working directly with their patients or clients and treating people with mental or emotional disorders. Considering this, it is understandable that effective education and training is important for people who want to work in this career. The requirement and license process vary from province to province. Some provinces require PhDs for a license to work independently while in others a master's degree is sufficient. Due to the many different areas psychologist works in, their earnings are wide in variation. The average starting salaries for psychologists range from about $35,000, particularly for those who are self-employed and just starting out, to more than $120,000 a year. The typical working hours for this occupation depends on their job and the level of responsibility. Some have about 40-hours, and others have more than 50 to 60-hours a week. Psychologists have a high level of stress because treating patients can be extremely rewarding but also emotionally draining. They have heavy workloads and tight schedules. They sometimes have to deal with violent and uncomfortable behaviors. However, no matter how much years psychologists spend to satisfy the requirements and how much stress they get from treating patients, job satisfaction has remained constantly high across the 50 years. No less than 85% of psychologists do not regret going through the process and hardships because of their satisfaction in the career (Norcross & Karpiak, 2012).

Psychologists could have their jobs for life, but the periods of government cutbacks in the past has made it harder for psychologists to secure the job. However, they can still count on having their job for at least 5 to 8 years. This occupational group is predicted to encounter a shortage of workers in the future because of the substantially higher number of job openings available compared to the recent years. According to Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS), new job openings for psychologists are expected to total 10,00 while only 8,800 new job seekers are expected to fill them over the period 2015-2024. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has asked 649 company owners how the labor shortage affected the business. More than 50 percent of owners has said that themselves are working more hours and that they were receiving lower quality applicants. 45% of owners has also stated that they had to raise labor costs. Looking at the job predictions of psychologists, we can expect that the worker shortage may have a serious negative impact on businesses.

Many trends in society have affected jobs in the field of psychology. This field's expected growth is about 12 percent over the next ten years. One of the reasons why the predicted job growth is relatively high might be because future impact of mental illness on Canadians is expected to increase by 31% over the next 30 years, resulting in more than 8.9 million people living with a mental illness (Smetanin, Stiff, Briante, Adair, Ahmad, & Khan, 2011). Anxiety, depression and other mental disorders' growth can be explained by the continuous development of technology. 95% of teens are continuously using the internet. Smartphone ownership in teens ages 12-17 is continuously growing, from 23% to 37% from 2011 to 2013 (Madden, Lenhart, Duggan, Cortesi, & Gasser, 2013). It is proven that social media sites make people compare their life with others. People suffer from increased anxiety because of their failure to meet the expectations and demands that are forced on mood them (Lidbetter, 2012). In Salford Business School at the University of Salford, 298 people were surveyed for the charity Anxiety UK and it was found out that 53% of people think social media changed their behavior; 51% of the people said that it was negative behavior because of their confidence declining due to comparisons to others. This would mean that many teenagers would experience an increase in anxiety and depression leading to needing more support and treatment to overcome the emotional issue.

Increased use of social media also affects teenagers' drug usage. A study by National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse XVI: Teens and Parents, the 16th annual back-to-school conducted by CASAColumbia at Columbia University (CASAColumbiaTM) showed that teenager from 12-17 who use social media on a daily basis are five times more likely to use tobacco, three times more likely to use alcohol, and twice as likely to use marijuana. In addition, 40% admitted they had been exposed to pictures of people under the influence via social media, suggesting a correlation between the two factors. The most addictive substance, tobacco, causes premature mortality in Canada. It is responsible for almost 17% of all deaths (Whiteford, 2013). The serious negative impact caused by addiction to drug and alcohol increases the need for psychologists for a treatment of the addiction.

Another reason why the field is expected to grow may be because the stigma surrounding mental health declined (Bell Canada, 2015). In a survey done by National Harris/Decima in 2015, it was found out that 57% of people believed that the stigma surrounding mental illness reduced compared to 5 years ago. Also, 81% has admitted that they were more aware of issues involving mental health than they were five years ago. Lastly, 70 % has said that they believe peoples' belief and thought regarding mental illness has changed to a positive attitude. Thanks to this, many people with emotional and mental issues are becoming more comfortable in speaking up about their problem with their family and friends thus resulting to more people seeking help. This is important because the stigma is one of the main reason why people with mental illness do not seek help. Through removing the stigma regarding mental illness, people would be able to speak openly without fear of getting judged. With more people asking for help, the need for psychologists would continue to increase.

Not only did the development in technology affect the field of psychology to grow, but it also improved and changed how the psychologists treat patients. Though out the history, treatment has been carried out with the patient and the psychologists in the same room. However, technology has developed to the point that this can be achieved without actually being together at one place. Telehealth, which is about using technology such as video calling to virtually have a conference and deliver treatment services to the clients, is continuously growing in usage among psychologists (Nickelson, Magallettaa, & Ax, 1998). Online therapy is similar in concept. It is about performing therapy through real-time type communication between the psychologist and the patient. Although there is a clear benefit, it makes it easier for people to get therapy without transportation, it also raises a lot of questions on the ethical and practical issues, such as, the effect of therapy when the patient is on a video monitor and not in the room or the problem of security when virtually communicating with the patient. Other issues involve the hardship in understanding the client accurately and forming a relationship through communication in a text. There is no definite answer to these problems, and the issue is still being reviewed by psychologists.

I believe that for a person to become a psychologist, one should be able to come up with new and better solutions, suggestions, and techniques to improve clients' well-being and ask insightful questions to help different clients in need. I feel that

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Whiteford et al. (2013). Global burden of disease attributable to mental and substance use disorders: Findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet, 382: 1575-86.

Chapman, B.P.; Fiscella, K.; Kawachi, I.; Duberstein, P.; Muennig, P. Emotion suppression and mortality risk over a 12-year follow-up. J. Psychosom. Res. 2013, 75, 381-385.


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