Psychology is a science that encompasses a large number of areas and fields of application.. Its object of study is the mind and human behavior, but it also studies other aspects; that is why psychology diversifies (and specializes) into many branches or fields.
In this article we will know the 10 most important branches (or fields) of psychology, although there may be some more.although there may be some more. We will learn about their characteristics, fields of application, functions developed by their different types of professionals and we will see some examples.
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The 10 branches of Psychology (and what each one consists of)
What does each of these 10 branches (or fields) of psychology consist of? Let’s see it in detail below.
1. Clinical psychology
Clinical psychology is the branch of psychology psychology in charge of studying psychological (or mental) disorders, as well as (or mental) disorders, as well as abnormal behavior. It also encompasses the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of such mental disorders.
In the psychology degree, most of the subjects that we find, at least in Spain, are clinical psychology. Often it is the branch that most is the branch that most motivates future psychologists, and the one thatand the one that most reminds them of the situation of the couch, patients, their own practice…
The functions of a clinical psychologist are, therefore, in addition to diagnosing, evaluating and treating, also to prevent any type of mental disorder (or maladaptive behavior).
As a clinical psychologist you can work in hospitals, clinics, medical centers, health centers, private practice, teaching… In Spain, currently the only way to specialize in clinical psychology (as a specialist psychologist in clinical psychology, PEPC) is to work in the public health sector. to be able to work in public healthis the PIR (psychologist internal resident).
The PIR consists of an exam which, if passed, gives access to a 4-year training plan as a resident psychologist in a hospital in Spain.
2. Educational psychology
This branch is the one in charge of studying the different processes involved in learning, as well as the factors that intervene in the learning process.as well as the factors that intervene in educational centers. That is to say, he studies the learning subject himself, but also the environment in which he learns, the agent who teaches him, etc., and all the variables that influence the learning process of a person.
The functions of the educational psychologist include attention to students with learning difficulties. In addition, he/she intervenes in the psychological processes that may hinder learning.. He/she coordinates with other professionals in order to help students learn effectively.
Educational psychologists can work in schools (both regular and special education), in associations, foundations, teaching…
3. Sports psychology
This third branch or field of psychology deals with the study of the psychological factors that may be influencing that may be influencing the performance of an athlete, as well as his or her participationas well as in their participation in different activities or sports championships. It is a particularly key figure for high-level or elite (professional) athletes.
Their functions include psychological care for athletes, in aspects related to their performance, training, possible injuries, etc.
These professionals can work with individual athletes, but also in soccer teams, basketball teams… (or any sport), clubs, federations, etc.
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4. Organizational and work psychology
This branch of psychology refers to the discipline of human resourcesIt is characterized by being involved in all those processes that affect the employees of an organization (company), such as: personnel selection, employee training, etc. Thus, human resources are in charge of managing organizations at the level of workers (employees).
The duties of an organizational and occupational psychologist may vary depending on the department where he/she is located, but basically they are: search and screen candidates for vacant positions, conduct interviews (i.e., personnel selection), design and/or implement employee training, group dynamicsThe functions of an organizational and work psychologist may vary depending on the department where he/she works, but basically they are: searching and screening candidates for vacant positions, conducting interviews (i.e. personnel selection), designing and/or implementing training for workers, group dynamics, occupational risk prevention, etc.
This type of professional can work in any company that requires it, public or private, in the human resources department.
5. Developmental psychology
Developmental psychology studies the development and changes that take place at the psychological level throughout the life of throughout people’s lives, in the different stages of life. That is, it focuses on each of the stages (ages) of life, characterizing them with milestones and other elements.
6. Personality psychology
Personality psychology, another branch of psychology, studies those elements or factors that characterize us as individuals. elements or factors that characterize us as individuals, i.e., personality, traits, types of behavior, etc.i.e., they study personality, traits, types of behavior, etc.
It focuses on analyzing why a person behaves in “X” way, according to his or her personality type, analyzing the influences received. It also evaluates and describes how this personality changes throughout life.
7. Social psychology
This branch of psychology is in charge of studying the behavior of individuals in society and at a relational level, i.e., the and at the relational level; that is, it studies the individual in his or her relational context, as a social being (living in society and needing to relate to others). In addition, it is also responsible for studying how the environment or social environment influences their behavior.
8. Forensic psychology
Forensic psychology is another branch of psychology, The study of the processes that take place in the courts of justice from a psychological point of view.. That is to say, a forensic psychologist has the function of collecting and analyzing evidence of a psychological nature so that it can be taken into account in court proceedings.
In addition, he or she can also evaluate a person who has suffered abuse, rape, etc. And, he can also evaluate if a person has a certain mental disorder that has led him to commit a certain criminal act.
Sexology focuses on the study of sexual alterationsor behaviors and states that may be hindering affective, intimate and/or sexual relationships in a couple. This branch derives from clinical psychology, since it also focuses on abnormal or dysfunctional behaviors.
It can be applied in the field of sexual dysfunctions, but also in other types of couple problems. In addition, it is also ideal for couples who want to improve their sex life, even if they do not have any type of disorder.
Neuropsychology is another field, halfway between neurology and psychology.Its object of study is the nervous system. Specifically, it studies the relationships between the nervous system and behavior, emotions, feelings, communication, etc. It is a branch related to neurosciences. In addition, it studies neuropsychological disorders or alterations, whether genetic or acquired.
A neuropsychologist can work in hospitals (with the PIR, or with the General Health Master). He/she may also work in centers where workshops or sensory stimulation therapies (e.g. for people with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, patients who have suffered a stroke or traumatic brain injury, intellectual disability, etc.).