Psychology as a profession. The specifics of the psychologist's activity.

Professional and personal in the work of a psychologist are very often closely related. It is difficult to be one person in personal terms, but completely different in professional activity. Therefore, personal qualities constitute an important foundation for the professional success of a psychologist. In connection with the expansion of the scope of services in the field of psychology, the problem of the quality of professional training of a practical psychologist is relevant. In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in the total number of specialists who consider themselves psychologists in our country. Unfortunately, many of them only have documents confirming their qualifications and most of them do not have state significance. For a number of reasons, over the same period of time, there has been an increase in the need for psychological assistance. The range of psychological problems has also expanded. The implementation of scientific knowledge in various fields of practice, the increased degree of influence of modern psychological science on social, economic and other processes, have increased its importance for society as a whole. The profession of a psychologist, which has the ability to influence an individual, a group of people, to solve their practical problems, has acquired a specific value for society. Taking into account the peculiarities of the professional activity of a psychologist, in particular a practicing psychologist, his responsibility for his work is of particular importance. It is an obvious fact that the psychological state of people largely depends on the professional activity of a practicing psychologist, regardless of the area in which he works, which in turn determines to a certain extent the results of the work of the latter, their general state, both psychological and physical. Not every person, not even every certified psychologist, can become a practicing psychologist. The determining factor in the professional activity of practicing psychologists, first of all, is the formation of the necessary professionally significant qualities in them. In addition, the specificity of the profession of a practicing psychologist is such that if the latter does not have the appropriate personal qualities necessary for successful professional activity, no matter how much professional knowledge he possesses, even if he has well-formed professional skills and abilities, he cannot be considered a highly qualified specialist. .

The professional activity of a psychologist is aimed at providing psychological assistance to a specific person or group of people in the course of solving their mental problems, i.e. come to their aid in difficult times for them. A practicing psychologist should apply his professional knowledge in order to calm a particular person during the grief that has befallen him, the misfortune that has occurred, arising when solving some problems, difficulties.

The need to provide psychological assistance requires from a practicing psychologist not only a comprehensive study of the situation in which the client, or a group of people, finds himself, but also direct intervention. One of the important conditions for effective psychological assistance is the target setting of a practicing psychologist, the motives of his professional activity. Does he really want to help people by doing a good deed, or does he look at the assistance provided as an opportunity to earn more on the misfortunes of people? What feelings does he experience during the provision of assistance: moral satisfaction from the consciousness that he came to the rescue in time on difficult days for the client, or was he satisfied that he received a good material reward (money, a valuable gift)? There may be other motives for providing assistance: the acquisition of professional experience, the formation of relevant skills and abilities, the collection of the necessary material for a report, report, article. A practicing psychologist, as a professional, must present the whole path of psychological assistance, its stages, duration, and not quick results. A client in case of misfortune should, with the help of a practicing psychologist, feel that his life, although tragic, is not hopeless.

One of the most important qualities of a psychologist’s activity is his professional competence, or professionalism, which includes professional knowledge, skills, abilities and abilities. The characteristics of professional competence also include: a range of professional opportunities, perfect mastery of the tools, techniques and technologies of professional activity. The professional competence of a psychologist is manifested in the creative nature of his activity, in the active search for innovative approaches and innovative technologies, personal initiative and professional communication skills. The psychologist must be a versatile specialist. Therefore, his professional erudition should include not only knowledge in the field of psychology, but also a certain body of knowledge in the field of history, cultural studies, philosophy, pedagogy, sociology, political science, economics, law, philology, physical culture, mathematics and computer science, as well as knowledge in the field of concepts of modern natural science. Professional skills determine the success of the psychologist’s practical activities, his ability to apply psychological knowledge to the performance of his duties: specific actions, techniques, psychological “techniques”.

Professional skills are well-established, easily and confidently performed professional actions that allow a psychologist to perform work effectively. The more experience, the more professional skills a specialist acquires. Consider the basic requirements for the preparedness of a psychologist in professional disciplines.

In the field of psychology, a specialist should:

understand the goals, methodology and methods of professional activity of a psychologist;

· own the tools, methods of organizing and conducting psychological research;

understand the specifics of the subject of psychology, its relationship with other disciplines;

know the history of development and modern problems of psychological science;

Know the patterns of evolution of the psyche of animals, the similarity and qualitative difference between the psyche of animals and humans; phylogenesis and ontogeny of the human psyche;

understand the brain mechanisms of mental processes and states; Know the nature of human activity, the functions of the psyche in human life;

know the patterns of formation and functioning of his motivational sphere;

know the psychological patterns of cognitive processes (sensations, perception, memory, imagination, thinking, speech); Know the mechanisms of attention, emotional phenomena, processes of volitional regulation; · have a concept of personality and individuality, the structure of personality and the driving forces of its development;

know the psychological patterns of communication and interaction of people in groups, intergroup relations;

Know the patterns of human mental development at each age level;

know the basic laws of the psychology of education;

Know the criteria for the norm and pathology of mental processes, conditions, human activities, ways and means of compensation and restoration of the norm;

· have an idea about the psychological problems of human labor activity;

know the main areas and activities of a psychologist;

know the basics of psychodiagnostics and psychological counseling;

know the basics of psychotherapy, correctional and developmental work of a psychologist;

· master the methods of psychological education and teaching psychology.

Psychological problems permeate our entire life, that is, a psychologist can find application in almost all spheres of human life and not only in humans (as you know, psychologists study the life of animals, birds, fish, microorganisms, integral ecological systems, etc.). But here questions immediately arise: who determines which problems a psychologist should deal with and which ones he should not (otherwise it turns out that all problems related to a person should be solved only by psychologists, and in other professions there is simply no need).

Another question: how should a psychologist solve the existing psychological problems, does he alone determine the forms, methods and conditions of his work?

To bring some clarity to such questions, V. I. Slobodchikov and E. I. Isaev distinguish two understandings of “practical psychology”:

1) practical psychology as an “applied discipline”, a feature of which is “orientation towards academic research psychology of the natural science type”;

2) practical psychology as a “special psychological practice”, where the main focus is not on the study of the psyche, but on “work with the psyche”.

In addition to the development of such a division, one can add the following: “applied psychology”, even in its name, is focused on helping in solving those problems that have already been set for the psychologist by his “customers”.

For example, the management of some enterprise. Here, the psychologist is, as it were, given “in addition” (“given”) to already working specialists, that is, he, as it were, helps these specialists perform their functions better. With this understanding, a psychologist can really realize himself in a variety of areas of production.

It is possible to distinguish, along with some of those mentioned above, approximately the following list of areas where a psychologist can find application for himself:

1. Space psychology, where a psychologist can study and form the readiness of future astronauts to perform their flights, as well as develop recommendations for optimizing the training of astronauts, providing medical and psychological rehabilitation after flights, etc.

2. Aviation psychology, aimed at optimizing the psychological working conditions of pilots, airport controllers, and other employees of flight services.

3. Industrial (production) psychology and management psychology close to it (organizational psychology). Note that it is theoretically possible to single out “one’s own”, specific psychology for each branch of production (construction psychology, metallurgical psychology, etc.). However, in practice such a distinction is not always made. Sometimes the psychology of management, the psychology of entrepreneurial activity, etc. are singled out as a separate area.

4. Medical psychology and pathopsychology, where one of the important aspects is building relationships between psychologists and doctors. True, traditionally in this direction of psychology more attention is paid to the study of the patients themselves.

5. Pedagogical psychology (psychological features of education for both children and adults, as well as problems of continuous and advanced professional education). School psychology stands out as one of the variants of educational psychology.

6. Legal and juridical psychology, which faces particularly difficult problems in the conditions of a really “non-rule of law state”, infected with the idea of corruption and permissiveness (including among the law enforcement agencies themselves).

7. Psychology of tourism and leisure activities.

8. Some time ago (in the early 80s – the time of the Olympic Games in Moscow) sports psychology was very popular in the USSR.

9. Psychology of mass communications and advertising.

10. Political psychology, where a psychologist has recently been in demand in various respects, including the organization of election campaigns and inter-party political struggle.

11. Military psychology, where the activities of a psychologist are very diverse, including in connection with the events taking place in “hot spots” and the need to prepare fighters for activities in extreme situations and provide them with psychological assistance during and after the end of their service.

In all these and other cases, the psychologist has, on the one hand, not to lose his specific subject (psyche, human subjectivity), and on the other hand, to take into account the specifics of work in the industry he serves. Based on this, the applied psychologist over time is forced to explore more and more, and in some cases to be included in the production environment where he tries to optimize the collective activities of workers. Thus, in fact, he himself gradually turns into an integral participant in the production process and becomes a real member of this labor collective (because without him the collective will no longer be able to work effectively). That is why psychologists are increasingly invited to work (permanent work) in various companies and organizations. A psychologist working in an organization, as a rule, does not determine strategic tasks himself, but he independently sets and implements tactical and operational tasks.

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