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August 17, 2012

Essay Paper on Foundations of Professional Psychology

Foundations of Professional Psychology Professional Plan
When it comes to the professional goals that I have in psychology I would like to be able to work with children with special needs. I have been thinking of going into the Behavioral Therapy field with special needs children. If I were to focus on this route I would be able to help the families and children improve physical movement, mental and communicative skills. A behavioral therapist is a psychotherapy that will focuses on the behavioral problems and promoting adaptation skills (APA 2011).  I decided to move towards this direction due the fact I think it would be a challenging and rewarding field to help children to overcome the challenges in life they face daily. This degree would enable me to provide services as a counselor with specialized knowledge in behavioral therapy or as a counselor.
The field of behavioral therapy fascinates me because it would allow me to interact with and counsel the people especially children who are confronting behavioral problems. There are varying opinions about the best way to define behavior therapy. However, most health professionals accept Eysenck's definition: Behavior therapy is the attempt to alter human behavior and emotions in a beneficial way according to the laws of modern learning theory. There is only one problem with that definition: There is no generally recognized comprehensive learning theory of human behavior.
Consequently, from a phenomenological view point, behavior therapy has the following three objective appearances. First, behavior therapy is a general field of health improvement that deals with learned, undesirable emotional and physical behavioral responses. But these undesirable responses have been practiced so much that they have become personal habits.  Cognitive theory model is a psychotherapeutic approach: a talking therapy. The purpose of CBT is to solve problems related to dysfunctional emotions, behaviors and cognitions through a goal-oriented, systematic procedure in the present.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is often also used in conjunction with mood stabilizing medications to treat conditions like bipolar disorder. Its application in treating schizophrenia along with medication and family therapy is recognized by the NICE guidelines (see below) within the British NHS.
However, the people who have these undesirable habits believe that they have little or no satisfactory control over them. That is why these habits are often the main behavioral barriers to personally satisfying lives for their owners. Second, as a field of health improvement, behavior therapy consists of a diverse collection of many different behavioral (as opposed to medicinal) regimens. Each regimen has a name and is proclaimed to be based on laws of the yet-to-be-identified modern learning theory. I want to share and contribute my knowledge to this field of behavior therapy.
This class has enabled me to ensure better time management, improved research skills, and informed decision making. There are a numerous benefits of having a professional membership particularly APA. In the first place, it gives you recognition and professional support. Moreover, it would offer me financial services, business solutions, travel and consumer savings and additional savings from APA.  It would also provide with a chance of extensive networking which otherwise would be quite difficult in case of private clinic. APA is a pretty good platform to fully realize my knowledge, skills and strengths. I would like to develop, nurture and grow my specialized knowledge in this area of psychology.
When getting my education as a psychologist I have to go by the regulation that the state has set to get my doctoral degree and also having a master’s degree license to work as a counselor.  When going for my doctoral degree it would require me to have 5 to 7 years to complete my masters in clinical psychology and I will have to do a least a 1 year internship to be a counselor. With getting a Ph. D. it would qualify me to work in different areas such as teaching, research, clinical, and counseling (TSB 2003). In getting a Psy. D. would allow me to work in a clinical position or a private practice. Were as an Educational Specialist (ED. S), degree would allow me to work as a school counselor.  If I were to go for only my master’s degree it would allow me to work as an assistant to a psychologist or under the supervision of as doctoral-level psychologists (TSBEP 2003).
            When entering into the educational side, you will need to obey the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologist requirements. The requirements by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (TSBEP) for the types of licensure for doctoral psychology are as the following:
  • License Title:   Psychologist-Doctorate
  • Restrictions:   Licensed for independent practice
  • Education: Required Degree from a accredited institution
  • Supervised Experience: 2-years of full time supervised experience with 1-year of post-doctoral and 1-year must be formal
  • Internship: 2-years of full time supervised experience with 1-year of post-doctoral and 1-year must be formal; with no less than 2 hours per week
  • Postdoctoral: 1-year of supervised experience
Then you have to take an examination for licensure and the requirements would be according to TSBEP:
·         Examination for the Professional Practice of Psychology is required and has to have a passing score of 500.
·         It can be taken on complication of doctoral degree.
·         Can take the exam as many times as need to pass if approved by the board and the fee is paid.
·         There is an oral exam giving for a provisionally licensed psychologist and is either pass or fail.
·         Have to continuing education after completion with 12 hours per year, 3 hours of ethics, rules, and regulations of the Board as to part of the 12 hours.
There are fees that have to be paid to take the exam and to be paid the board when going to get a license and will have to pay a fee annually when it time to renew license. (TSBEP 20011).
            When looking at the requirements for counseling licenses in behavioral sciences or mental health counseling, the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists would require the following:
  • License Title: Licensed Psychological Specialist in School Psychology
  • Restrictions:   Have to practice under supervision for the first year and then can practice independently afterwards.
  • Education: Required Degree from an accredited institution
  • Supervised Experience: 2-years of full time supervised experience with 1-year of post-doctoral and 1-year must be formal
  • Internship: 1200 hours of formal internship with 600 hours in a public school setting and supervised.
There are no examination requirements for licensure in a licensed specialist in school psychology but you do have to continue your education. The requirements for continuing your education is 12 hours per year with 3 hours of ethics, rules and regulations of the board part of the 12 hours. They only fee you have is board application and renewal of licenses fee to paid annually (TSBEP 20011). 
            So when going in the field of psychology I have a long road ahead of me but I think in the end it will be all worth it. I would like to say that doing this program will help me to have knowledge of the ethical codes, rules and regulations that I will have to uphold to be the best psychologist I can be. When working the field of psychology and working with child with special needs will be so rewarding by letting me help them to become the best they can be. I feel that all children deserve to have a chance to succeed in life and give them tools they need to do so. Along with helping the children I will also be able to help the families to find better ways to communicate with their love ones and to understand how they can truly connect with them. I feel this will be the most challenging thing and reward part of being a psychologist.
Applied behaviour analysis (ABA) is a science that involves using modern behavioral learning theory to modify behaviours. Behaviour analysts reject the use of hypothetical constructs and focus on the observable relationship of behaviour to the environment. By functionally assessing the relationship between a targeted behaviour and the environment, the methods of ABA can be used to change that behaviour.

Part 2:

            I think that the strengths I will have in balancing my life when it comes to school, work and family would be in make a schedule that will work for me. I think when making a schedule it will help me to make sure to stay focused on what needs to be done and what time I would have to spend with my love ones.
            The weakness that I will have would be sticking to my schedule I have set because I seem to be a procrastinator at times and put things off until the last minute. I feel sometimes I do must work at when I do that. On the other hand I found that I really struggle staying on top when I do that.  Another weakness would be that I feel that would overwhelm me would be getting the work done in a timely manner and  not stressing out when I feel that is getting to be too much for me. When these happens I over do the work that needs to be done or I will forget to do something.
            I think the main thing for me is to try my best and make sure that I stick to a schedule that will work for my family and I, and stick to that. If I get to stress I need to know that is going to be fine just take my time and make sure that I do it one step at a time. I am looking forward to this but I have to make sure I stay focused on the goal at hand and to get my master’s degree and hopefully move forward with my doctoral degree. 


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