Saturday, May 28, 2022

Psychology VS. Social Work: Which Is The Best Route for Aspiring Clinicians?

Hey you guys what's up this is Gabi and what are we gonna talk about today so this video is gonna be the one where I touch on a topic that I get questions about a lot and that is Gabi what is the difference between studying psychology and studying social work there are a lot of similarities and there are some differences and me I kind of have a .

Background in both because I got my bachelor's degree in psychology and my master's degree or my MSW degree in social work I started off on the psychology career path and actually not sure if you guys know this about me but I thought I was going to ultimately get my PhD in psychology and be an official .

Psychologist so when I was an undergrad that was kind of the career path that I was thinking about because I used to actually want to do therapy you guys now know that I am interested in more macro level social work but that wasn't always the case so the reason I switched from getting a PhD in psychology to getting my MSW was because after I got my .

Bachelor's degree I was like man I don't want to actually have to go to school for five or six more years I want to jump into the workforce and I want to get started with my career ASAP so I can start making some money and pay off on those student loans okay you guys I know some of you guys out there can hikmah can feel me I instead decided to go the .

MSW route with the idea that I would become a therapist in that way so I could still do what I wanted to do working individually with people helping people with mental illnesses and different life struggles I think most of the people who ask me what's the difference between psychology and social work and what are the pros and cons of .

Choosing both are those who are interested in direct practice and doing therapy in the long run so let me kind of touch on that so what is psychology overall psychology is the study of the mind right it is very individually focused psychologists are focus on human behavior and they are able to both diagnose as well as treat .

Mental illnesses I want to make sure I clarify this as well you are not able to prescribe medication as a psychologist if you are working with the patient who needs medication in order to treat their mental illnesses you will need to refer them out to a psychiatrist who actually goes through Medical School and is an MD in order for them to be prescribed .

Medication for their issues one big difference is that social workers of course specifically those who do more direct service they work one-on-one with individuals as well but the big difference is when I was in my MSW program I started to learn how to look at the individual but not the individual only you have to take in consideration .

Everything that's happening around them in their community you have to look at their support system to see if maybe the fact that that's lacking is the reason that they're having mental illnesses or different struggles in their lives so I think social work is more holistic in nature it's looking at environment the individual the family the community .

Everything and seeing how all of those different things are impacting this individual's overall mental health and their mental state so that's a question you can ask yourself are you interested in helping a client with dealing with all of those multi factors and mitigating certain issues that they may be having in different areas and sectors .

In their lives also there are mental illnesses that an individual may be struggling with that has nothing to do with their environment at all it's just something that maybe is hereditary or something that came about as a result of some childhood trauma that they had or something that's stemming from a situation that happened to him a long .

Time ago and they simply need someone who can meet with them on a one-on-one basis and talk through how they're feeling what their issues are to get to the root of what's going on and to better understand why they're dealing with you know certain issues if you're more interested in that as opposed to looking at a holistic picture and .

Possibly helping someone with outside issues such as poverty housing issues they may be having different human rights or issues they may be going through dealing with oppression then psychology is probably the best route for you psychologists really do zoom in on that individuals behavior as opposed to kind .

Of taking a bird's-eye view at the big picture of what's going on in their lives I mean of course psychologists are going to be interested in and are going to ask questions about that person's overall livelihood but not nearly to the extent as a social worker would do and also social workers would take the extra step of trying to connect that .

Individual with resources to deal with all of those outside issues that may be affecting their mental health I ended up choosing social work because I do like looking at the more holistic picture and also I was more interested in working with individuals who were dealing with oppression or dealing with inequality or issues with poverty so that's why I .

Chose social work as well that's more of a focus in your training as a social worker as opposed to in your training as a psychologist psychologists work with a wide range of individuals no matter what type of background they have they're not really there to help individuals who are dealing with human right issues or issues of inequality I didn't receive a .

Lot of training in that area when I was getting my bachelor's degree in psychology most of my classes was about human behavior looking at how human behavior changes throughout the lifespan we zoomed in a lot one different type of mental illnesses I took classes in human sexuality I took a lot of research .

Classes okay so maybe you've heard everything I said about how social workers tend to work with those who are facing issues with having lower income or issues of inequality and you're like okay I don't totally have a preference around if I work with people like that or if I just work with individuals who are not facing those issues what I care .

Most about is the process I need to take in order to get from where I am today to becoming a psychologist or a therapist so someone who can sit down with individuals and directly help them with their mental issues or their overall life issues one on one okay so what is the schooling like and the preparation like for both becoming a therapist as a .

Social worker as well as becoming a clinical psychologist in order to become a psychologist you do have to get your PhD degree you can also get a side D degree as well which focuses more on the practical side of working directly with individuals when you get a PhD that is more research focused so you are someone who may be interested in doing .

Psychological studies and providing your findings in different research articles or scholastic articles but either way getting a PhD in psychology or a side a degree in psychology means that after you get your bachelor's degree you have to be prepared to go on for four to five years of schooling and then receive additional training after that in order .

To get to a point where you can actually sit down one-on-one with people and be an official psychologist on the other hand if you decide to become a therapist and sit down one-on-one with individuals the MSW route what you have to do is get your bachelor's degree it can be in social work or it may not be in social work and then you have to get .

Your MSW degree and then after you get your MSW degree you have to work in a setting where you get that clinical experience for two years have a supervisor who is a clinical social worker to provide you with supervision for two years and then following that you have to take a clinical test past that and then you are on your way to .

Being a licensed therapist who can work directly with people one-on-one you so of course the psychology route is a bit longer the pro about that is that psychologists do have the opportunity to get paid a higher salary so I did a little bit of research and on average psychologists make about seventy to .

Seventy-five thousand dollars annually and then on the other hand a licensed clinical social worker they make on average about forty seven to fifty thousand dollars yes you do have to go to school a little bit longer but you can expect to earn a higher overall salary as a psychologist also if you're interested in doing research that can .

Help to propel your field forward and help to kind of change and shape the direction of how your whole entire field looks at different mental illnesses then psychology is probably the best fit for you because as I mentioned you can get that PhD to ensure that at the end you are a trained researcher and also you want to think about the type of .

Environment you want to work in as well because if you go the Social Work route your environment really can vary licensed clinical social workers can work in hospitals they can work in rehab centers they can work in a school setting they can work on a military base they can work in a nursing home a clinic they can work in their own practice etc .

Etc like the possibilities are endless but as far as a psychologist as I mentioned before if you have your PhD maybe you want to go the university route and work in the education sector in the future as a professor as well as a researcher but if you don't go that route psychologists end up working in a clinical setting whether it be a .

Hospital a clinic or you know doing private practice as well so yeah I think it really does depend on what your overall interests are where you see yourself in the future what type of environment you want to be in what type of individual you are personally if you're someone who really does like to work in a multi-disciplinary arena I .

Think social work is really good for that because as I mentioned earlier you want to be helping people who may be struggling with so many different air is in their lives so in order to connect them with the right resources and to have a good understanding of these areas you have to work with people who are in these different areas and who have a .

Strong understanding of these different areas so that you can tap into these people as resources and also working as a clinical social worker I think it's really important to have a social justice mindset and to be comfortable working with people who are different than you who may be going through hard times and are relying on you to kind of .

Give them that hand up and show them the right way to go the right people to talk to in order to get that help you really have to believe that every person no matter what their circumstances are no matter what their background is deserves a decent life in order to be a social worker if you have certain hang-ups or if you are not comfortable with working .

With poor people or you know people who are from a different cultural background and this is something that you don't really want to do or something you're not interested in doing Social Work is probably not for you and as far as the psychology side if you're not interested in research and if you're not interested in studying the human mind and studying .

Individual mental illnesses with a laser focus then psychology is probably not for you and comparing my experience getting my psychology degree to getting my Social Work degree I feel like I was so much more hands-on in social work I mean that's really what it's all about like I mentioned in Prior videos your field placement and that on the ground .

Experience is so important with social work on the other hand when I was studying psychology it was moreso studying the literature studying the text and just understanding human behavior as a concept as opposed to alright let's get out there and you know work with people of course if you are getting a psychology degree .

Specifically a bachelor's degree like I did you can decide to go the extra mile and find out ways that you can be involved and get internship experiences but it's not a mandatory thing and I think because it's not the field it's just not as hands-on as social work is the reason I chose social work is because I get bored kind of easily so I .

Needed something that was going to challenge me I wanted to work in a field that would give me the opportunity to really learn about different things and to expose myself to different things I've been exposed to the law in social work helping clients with figuring out different legal situations they were going through I've learned about housing .

And the responsibilities of landlords and what our tenants rights just by working with clients who had issues with housing so it's just so much more multi-faceted to me personally and I'm just someone who believes in looking at situations from a holistic landscape because I am interested in both people as well as the communities that they .

Live in but if you're someone who is just you know laser focused on individuals in the individual human condition then I think psychology is the best fit for you both fields are really great honestly and I do not regret studying either I'm glad that I studied psychology first because it did give me a good understanding of research which I .

Think is important when it comes to social work as well I'm glad I was able to get that stronger statistics background and foundation for myself and I would say also social where it gives you different opportunities and you can kind of move and shift around later on in your career to try other things now also understand that I am biased because .

I am a social worker I did go that route so you probably want to check out someone else's video who does talk more about psychology but this is from the perspective of a social worker who has a psychology background and an appreciation for psychology but I ultimately decided to go with social work so I hope this .

Yo gives you an idea of what the differences are and will help you to better choose what you want to do and what direction you want to float your little wings in so yeah thanks for watching my video and go out there and be great see you later


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