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Thread: Are there any psychologists here?

  1. #21

    Default Re: Are there any psychologists here?

    Hmm... I really do not know exactly what you are interested in knowing. Anyway, these are just some questions which ppl ask me & I think may help you in some way or another.

    1. What are the career prospects?
    It depends on your area of interest. There are many fields of psychology, e.g. developmental, organizational, sports, clinical, forensic, just to name a few.

    2. With a Bachelors (3 yrs) or Honors (4 yrs) in Psy., what can I do?
    Hmm.. Sad to say, alot of ppl have the delusion that with 3-4yrs in psychology, you are called "Psychologists" or you're able to practice (i.e. counsel ppl etc.). Please note, you are NOT called a psychologist with a 3-4yrs of study and you are NOT qualified to practice. 3-4yrs of study is merely a stepping stone into this field. It it not until you complete your Masters (another 2 yrs) that you will be qualified to start practicing and be called a 'psychologist'. It is only during your Masters that you start specializing in a particular field of psychology, e.g. developmental, clinical, counselling etc. Therefore, with a Bachelors or Honors in the field, you start small (really small)....

    3. What is the difference between Psychologist & Psychiatrist?
    They are VERY different.. Psychiatrist tend to focus on medication approach of treatment. Psychologists, on the other hand, tend to focus on behavioural/cognitive therapy, counselling etc.


    Like what some have already replied, Psychology is a field in which you HAVE to work with people. It does help greatly if you have a flair for writing. However, I personally feel that you do not have to "die die must write well", in order to major in psychology. It is not a course which you are able to absorb all the information and regurgitate during your exams. Alot of critical thinking is required and this is something, unfortunately, S'porean students do not tend to fair well in.

    To tell you abit more about myself.. I graduated with an Honors equivalent in Psychology and I plan to start my Masters-cum-Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in Nov '07. I am currently working in the research line. Like I said, all 3rd/4th yr Psy. graduates have to start somewhere (and usually, it's quite low on the career ladder of psy.).

    At the moment, Singapore Psychological Society (SPS) does not have alot of "power" in SG, unlike the Australian Psychological Society (APS) or American Psychological Society (APA). For APS & APA, you will need a minimum of Masters in Psy., in order to call yourself a 'Psychologist'. However, SPS does not have that type of 'power' in SG yet. That's why when you look through the employment ads in SG, they need ""Psychologists"" with a Bachelors and preferably, a good Honours. For APS & APA, you are required to register yourself with the organization before you are able to practice. It is their way of standardization in this field (i.e. won't let any Tom-Dick-&-Harry to be in a position to be handling clients/patients).

    I hope I did not overwhelm you with my response.
    Last edited by cityofangels; 21st November 2006 at 04:11 PM.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Are there any psychologists here?

    An additional note:

    Counsellors are NOT Psychologists and Psychologists are NOT QUALIFIED Counsellors.

    Psychology is a scientific study into the human mind which is a science based subject. Doesn't mean that having studied Psychology, the person would be able to read minds, hypnotise and counsel people like what you all see in dramas.

    There's a line between these 2.

    P/S: Though I am studying Psy now, I'm not cut out to be a counsellor neither am I counsellor material. In fact if anyone were to message me or reply to this thread that they are suicidal, there's a 95% chance I'd tell the chap to go and die right here, right now.
    "Wonders of the Human Mind. Unfathomable to the highest degree."

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Are there any psychologists here?

    Quote Originally Posted by jsbn View Post
    An additional note:

    Counsellors are NOT Psychologists and Psychologists are NOT QUALIFIED Counsellors.

    Psychology is a scientific study into the human mind which is a science based subject. Doesn't mean that having studied Psychology, the person would be able to read minds, hypnotise and counsel people like what you all see in dramas.

    There's a line between these 2.

    P/S: Though I am studying Psy now, I'm not cut out to be a counsellor neither am I counsellor material. In fact if anyone were to message me or reply to this thread that they are suicidal, there's a 95% chance I'd tell the chap to go and die right here, right now.
    me too... and i'll add, wanna die, die far away from me...
    Logging Off. "You have 2,631 messages stored, of a total 400 allowed." don't PM me.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Are there any psychologists here?

    Quote Originally Posted by jsbn View Post
    P/S: Though I am studying Psy now, I'm not cut out to be a counsellor neither am I counsellor material. In fact if anyone were to message me or reply to this thread that they are suicidal, there's a 95% chance I'd tell the chap to go and die right here, right now.
    What the!!

    On the side note, I seriously do not think you need to study Psy. in order to have the view that any human life is precious.
    Last edited by cityofangels; 21st November 2006 at 04:55 PM.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Are there any psychologists here?

    Seems a little confusing... I notice in Singapore, many recruit adverts for counsellor requires a degree in psychology...

    Saw one last sat Straits Time recruit section from MYSD...

    What qualification do we need to be qualified counsellors? I am interested in being a one...

  6. #26

    Default Re: Are there any psychologists here?

    Quote Originally Posted by cityofangels View Post
    What the!!

    On the side note, I seriously do not think you need to study Psy. in order to have the view that any human life is precious.
    True. Any human with "common" logic will say that. He / She does not need a degree to state this statement. It is a individual value-based thoughts that mould us to-be.
    Last edited by kitkat; 21st November 2006 at 05:07 PM.

  7. #27

    Default Re: Are there any psychologists here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wowee View Post
    Seems a little confusing... I notice in Singapore, many recruit adverts for counsellor requires a degree in psychology...

    Saw one last sat Straits Time recruit section from MYSD...

    What qualification do we need to be qualified counsellors? I am interested in being a one...
    There are specialized Counselling Degrees. However, as mentioned in my previous rather long long reply, Singapore Psy. Society (SPS) does not have any 'power' or authority to control for all these things. And in S'pore, not many people will take up a degree in Counselling. Therefore, alot of counselling positions just state that a major in Psy. is preferred.

    However, there are some positions which require a certification in Counselling (either degree or graduate diploma).

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Are there any psychologists here?

    Quote Originally Posted by cityofangels View Post
    There are specialized Counselling Degrees. However, as mentioned in my previous rather long long reply, Singapore Psy. Society (SPS) does not have any 'power' or authority to control for all these things. And in S'pore, not many people will take up a degree in Counselling. Therefore, alot of counselling positions just state that a major in Psy. is preferred.

    However, there are some positions which require a certification in Counselling (either degree or graduate diploma).
    Lucky Singapore not so strict or else I waste my time studying for my degree liao...

    At least MYSD seems happy with degree in psychology...

  9. #29

    Default Re: Are there any psychologists here?

    Hi city of angels,

    I dunno if I'm biased. Somehow I find the career prospects here as a psychologist rather dismal or limited. As you've mentioned, the standards are low here. With just an Honors you can work as a psychologist already. In the US, a Bachelor's is only a bare minimum. Even doctors must usually have a Bachelor's in a dfferent field like literature, psychology or biology b4 they can get a medical degree!

    Oh definitely there's diff betn a psychologist and psychiatrist. The latter is a medical specialist who spends a couple more years of study in psychiatry after med school. So they are medical doctors who can prescribe medicine. Psychologists, no matter how high they study, they can't prescribe drugs. *sad huh*! That's where the prob lies here also. People here won't usually seek a psychologist (think not many are qualified anyway) if they have some mental disorder, such as depression. They will either go to a GP or a psychiatrist directly. Psychiatrists are deemed to have not only the medical knowledge, but they are also equipped with the knowledge of behavioral/psychological interventions necessary to treat the problem. This is quite unlike those overseas where psychologists are more respected as professionals who spend a great deal of time in research and dealing with the various behavioral treatment methodologies which may be more effective than drugs alone.

    Actually I feel even with a Masters it's not quite justified to be labelled a psychologist. Maybe a social worker, counsellor or assistant psychologist will be a more appropriate title. A doctorate with adequate clinical hours clocked is how strict the requirements are in the US to be a full-fledged psychologist. In UK and Australia, they are more laxed.

    Oh... so you've gotten a place in Clinical psych... Do you intend to work overseas or come back here to work after graduation? Clinical psych is my, or used to be my interest. But I'm uncertain of the prospects here. Think it's very limited right. Unless you go to the private hospitals or IMH. There isn't any vacancy most of the time. What I don't really like is that in a medical institution setting here, psychologists seem to play second fiddle to the medical doctors or psychiatrists. People will listen to a doctor more than someone with a Ph.D.

  10. #30

    Default Re: Are there any psychologists here?

    Quote Originally Posted by jsbn View Post
    An additional note:

    P/S: Though I am studying Psy now, I'm not cut out to be a counsellor neither am I counsellor material. In fact if anyone were to message me or reply to this thread that they are suicidal, there's a 95% chance I'd tell the chap to go and die right here, right now.
    What the.... I hope you are just kidding else that's a very disappointing comment to note, especially from someone who is studying Psych.

  11. #31
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    Default Re: Are there any psychologists here?

    From what I understand:

    Psychiatrist are qualified doctors in the field of mental health. They can prescribe medication to help control the sickness while being helped by the a psychologist/counselor who uses therapy, counselling, non-medical methods to help a patient recover and cope with the sickness...

    Never heard of a psychiatrist doing counselling or therapy...

    Correct me if I am wrong...

  12. #32

    Default Re: Are there any psychologists here?

    Actually, I'm really curious... What does the SPS do?

    All I ever see is that they ask people with relevant psych degrees to join for a fee and you're a member. They also organize some talks in public libraries or community centers. And that's it. Don't they ever wish to make psychology "more professional"? Or are there restrictions, like Singapore's limited culture in accepting non-medical professions treating somatic and mental disorders?

  13. #33

    Default Re: Are there any psychologists here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wowee View Post
    From what I understand:

    Psychiatrist are qualified doctors in the field of mental health. They can prescribe medication to help control the sickness while being helped by the a psychologist/counselor who uses therapy, counselling, non-medical methods to help a patient recover and cope with the sickness...

    Never heard of a psychiatrist doing counselling or therapy...

    Correct me if I am wrong...
    Over here, doctors "bao ka liao"... Some of them can provide mini-counselling if appropriate. They will dish out advice in addition to giving medication. But for more serious cases, or if one is depressed or have family problems for eg, they can be referred to a counsellor or social worker as a concurrent treatment. Sadly, I seldom hear psychologists coming into the picture. Guess it's cheaper or even free to seek advice and help from a counsellor/social worker. That's why I wonder about the true role of a psychologist here in such cases.

  14. #34

    Default Re: Are there any psychologists here?

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your inputs on the difference between a Psychiatrist and a Psychologist. I bet it helped the people here to differentiate between the 2, rather than my rather short explanation. heheh

    As you may have picked up on, I was actually educated in Western Australia, Perth. Therefore, I come with the opinion that with a Masters in Psy., you are termed as a 'Psychologist'.

    I have to correct my previous comment made about APA (American Psy. Association) where you need a min. of Masters to be termed as a 'Psychologist'. I now understand from their website that you need to hold a Doctorate in order to be termed as a 'Psychologist'. I apologize for the misunderstanding.

    At the moment, I am planning to do my post-grad in Clin. Psy. in SG. I don't have the funds to study overseas anymore. :P And unfortunately, James Cook University (JCU) is the only uni in SG which offers this course. I really do not know where I will go after my course. I may work locally or overseas. Who knows?

    Anyway, this might be a useful website for some ppl out there. Singapore Psychological Society Employment Opportunites The site may give others an insight to the requirements of certain positions in the psy. field.

  15. #35

    Default Re: Are there any psychologists here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wowee View Post
    Never heard of a psychiatrist doing counselling or therapy...
    David is right in that doctors in SG tend to "bao ka liao". However, I think it is wrong to say that psychiatrists do not do any form of therapy. In an ideal situation, psychiatrists, psychologists, mental health nurses, social workers etc. should all work hand-in-hand for the best of the client. However, that is in a perfect world.


    Quote Originally Posted by David View Post
    Actually, I'm really curious... What does the SPS do?

    All I ever see is that they ask people with relevant psych degrees to join for a fee and you're a member. They also organize some talks in public libraries or community centers. And that's it. Don't they ever wish to make psychology "more professional"? Or are there restrictions, like Singapore's limited culture in accepting non-medical professions treating somatic and mental disorders?
    Hahahah! That's a question I constantly ask myself. My parents keep wanting me to register with SPS, in order to 'keep in touch' with my field and other psychologists. But seriously, I do not see the need of becoming a member of SPS and pay subscription fees to do that. I do that everyday in my line of work.

  16. #36

    Default Re: Are there any psychologists here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wowee View Post
    I agree with jsbn...

    A degree in psychology is a good opening for you to explore for opportunities in working with people...

    BUT if you do not enjoy being in a job that requires you to engaged another human being then maybe you are in the wrong course...

    Should have taken business administration or marketing or engineering...
    i'd say that psychology is a very interesting field, but it's only as good as you can apply yourself to it. no use studying it the singaporean way because it does take some flair to think through the complex interactions of human behavior and socio-cultural factors in the development, management and resolution of psychological phenomenon. First of all, psychology is not all about bad stuff that happens to people, they also study why ppl act the way they do - seeing beyond what is obvious. they also study how patterns of behavior can be influential to wider society, think of a large multi-layered concentric circle, with the outer circle being the world, and shrinking in context to the individual him/herself. each layer interacts and influences each other.

    different fields of psychology basically argue how each layer is more impt than the others, or how specific collection of layers can specifically contribute to particular forms of behavior or disorders.

    psychology is interesting in stripping away common perceptions and may enable to effectively probe (but not necessarily answer - psychology is not about answers, it's about looking for the right questions) what we see around us.

    but think hard abt why you want to do psychology. in the typical singapore fashion, this subjective science is very narrowly applied here, eg:
    1) clinical psychologist
    2) educational psychologist
    3) child psychologist
    4) counsellor

    it's not like overseas where the research culture is very strong and different schools of psychological thought flourish in fervant search for new things to discover.

    you can largely forget abt psychoanalysis here because it's widely known as more an art than a science and its applications in actual psychology is very hotly debated, some consider it a totally different field altogether.

    the most widely available occupation with relations to psychology in singapore is the social worker, IMH psychologist/psychiatrist and government service occupational psychology (mostly admin work, trust me).

    The more exciting psychology work dealing with real psychological problems and treatment is not open to you unless you've had a vast amt of practical experience diagnosing or treating actual psychosis. In Singapore, you'll mostly dealing with stress management, consensual counselling, relationship therapy and childhood dysfunction; if you're lucky, actual psychological treatments like cognitive behavioral treatment, covert sensitization, etc.

    You need not attain a masters to practice psychology in Singapore, but it helps a lot. Because you will otherwise find it exceedingly difficult to register with the Singapore Psychology Society. Some overcome these problems by registering with foreign societies, assuming you got your degree from their universities.

    i'd like to add that we tend to see oversea qualifications being a lot more stringent, but you also have to understand the amount of experience they have in that particular field. UK and American have been heavily in developing psychology since nearly a century ago, maybe longer, if you consider the scientific philosophies.

    until very relatively recently, singaporeans still think that 'tang ki' or the 'medium' is the best person to approach when you have mental problems.

    if u read foreign magazines (esp american ones), psychological disorders clog their pages in the discussion of interpersonal problems and all kinds of social issues. It's both good and bad. Popular psychology promotes the field, but it also trivialises it. People suddenly think they know everything wrong about a person when they see some vague symptoms, popping diagnostic nomenclature like diagnosing a fever. Personally, i do not really favour the use of the diagnostic manual (.eg. dsm or icd) because i think it reifies a disorder, when it is a merely a socially agreed cluster of symptoms. call me biased, but i'm rather sceptical of jade-throne academia and tend to suspect some form of professional corroboration in their definitions. but that's another issue altogether.
    Last edited by feryl; 21st November 2006 at 10:50 PM.

  17. #37

    Default Re: Are there any psychologists here?

    Quote Originally Posted by David View Post
    Singapore's limited culture in accepting non-medical professions treating somatic and mental disorders?
    Singaporeans will take a long long time before the idea of psychological etiologies overtake their reliance on medical explanations and folk belief.

    how many of us have called people 'schizo' for fickle changes in behavior, which is not the proper thing to say at all?

    how many of us have called old people senile, when they could be suffering from cognitive disorders like dementia?

    how many of us think that all mentally retarded people have down's syndrome?

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Are there any psychologists here?

    Quote Originally Posted by jsbn View Post
    An additional note:

    Counsellors are NOT Psychologists and Psychologists are NOT QUALIFIED Counsellors.

    Psychology is a scientific study into the human mind which is a science based subject. Doesn't mean that having studied Psychology, the person would be able to read minds, hypnotise and counsel people like what you all see in dramas.

    There's a line between these 2.

    P/S: Though I am studying Psy now, I'm not cut out to be a counsellor neither am I counsellor material. In fact if anyone were to message me or reply to this thread that they are suicidal, there's a 95% chance I'd tell the chap to go and die right here, right now.
    u 1 2 switch course?

  19. #39

    Default Re: Are there any psychologists here?

    BAD CS!! I typed a fairly long reply to cityofangel and feryl's comments but when I tried to send it, I was prompted to type in my name and password again. Then it's back to a blank screen!! Arghh...

    Anyway it's getting late. Just want to thank both of you for the insightful sharing. Will see if I have the energy to retype another day. Time for bed soon.

  20. #40
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    Default Re: Are there any psychologists here?

    looks like 1 needs lots of $$ & time 2 go into tis field locally. i got no $ & not tt much time mayb i'd get my PHD abt 40 -50yrs old?

    1 of my dream profession till reality kicks in...

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