Psychology where you least expect it

It’s not all about time on the couch.

Believing that most psychologists spend their days in one-on-one counselling sessions with tissues at the ready is a narrow view of this wide profession. While many psychologists do indeed specialise in personal therapy, it’s not the only path a psychology graduate can pursue. There’s a wide range of roles, many unexpected.

FIFO isn’t just for miners

When we think about fly-in-fly-out workers in regional Australia, we’re likely to picture miners toiling away. But in a complex industry such as mining, with a huge on-the-move workforce who are away from home and facing unique challenges, psychologists are key personnel who help counsel staff and provide the much-needed on-the-ground support.

Give someone else a sporting chance

If you’ve always been an athlete yourself, armchair or otherwise, leaning towards sports psychology could be a natural fit. Sports psychologists work to maximise performance for either individual athletes or with entire teams of players. They assess performance, assist with motivation and goal setting, and offer psychological counselling and treatment.

Take the law into your own hands

If you’ve grown up on a steady diet of CSI and Law & Order or are simply interested in the justice system, forensic psychology is an interesting pursuit for psychology graduates. A forensic psychologist’s job is to apply their knowledge and skills to understanding the legal and criminal justice systems. They work with courts and other tribunals, and in corrections, child protection, family services, drug and alcohol services, rehabilitation, academia and research, or directly with the police force.

Psychology means business

For psychology students who are a business minded or technologically inclined, industrial organisational psychology positions are available in a wide range of companies across all industries. This type of psychologist is employed to help businesses improve their productivity and roles can be found in huge multinational companies like Google and Netflix, as well as in smaller local operations. An industrial organisational psychologist could work in areas such as recruitment, employee learning and development, occupational health and safety, or leadership management.

Psychology on the brain

Neuropsychologists specialise in understanding the relationship between our brain and behaviours. This means they address problems around a person’s memory, learning abilities, attention span, language, reading, and problem-solving and decision-making skills. They can treat stroke patients with brain impairments, those with neurological problems from disorders like Parinkson’s disease, traumatic brain injury patients, or anyone with dementia-related illnesses where memory and cognitive abilities fade.

Find out more about studying psychology and counselling at ACU.