Our minds are commonly considered incredibly sophisticated machines. They are machines that, like any other machine, is prone to break downs, damage, enhancements, and the need for proper care. Of course, also just like real machines, the more sophisticated they are, the more delicate they are. And the human mind in all its delicacy is also biological, emotional, and rational, all impacting the type of thinking and processes we each are able to engage in. Unfortunately, despite our best attempts at controlling our thoughts and mastering ourselves, our minds seem to…well, they seem to have a mind of their own. This means that there are areas of ourselves that we can’t completely control, and that many internal and external influences beyond our control ultimately shape much of who we are.
Thankfully, unlike machines, our minds are constantly growing and changing, which means that with the guidance of individuals talented in the fields of psychology, counseling, and mental health, we have the means by which we can constantly tweak and improve ourselves. When you earn your Associate’s Degree in psychology, counseling, and mental health, you are acquiring the type of self-understanding that will go far in aiding many different types of individuals.
Psychology, counseling, and mental health are each very diverse fields. However, they all intertwine around the mind, and the more you understand about how the mind works at all its levels, the better equipped you will be to help others. In many cases, you’ll be applying your wisdom to help improve the physical and emotional health of patients’ minds. There are a wide array of areas where people often require professional help, including issues associated with addition, substance abuse, family relationships, parenting, marital issues, stress, self-esteem, and effects of aging. If this sounds broad to you, that’s because it is. For as many benefits our incredible biological machines produce, there are many areas of weakness that need professional supplement to improve. Each of these areas could potentially become a specific area of focus, and the job titles you might work under include psychologist, therapist, counselor, or mental health professional.
There are many different areas where this type of care is provided to patients. Most commonly, a professional with this kind of specialty will find employment at outpatient care centers, individual and family services facilities, residential mental health facilities, local government positions, physicians’ offices, and educational environments. The services provided might largely be the same, but the type of people who they provide services to will differ depending on the facility. Also, the type of experience and specialization a mental health professional possesses will largely influence what types of patients are seen.
A range of courses in both theoretical and clinical areas are needed to provide a complete program of study. Associate’s Degree programs include courses related to human development, research methodology, psychopathology, ethics and law, mental health counseling, and group counseling. These are designed to equip students with both the knowledge and the skills necessary to directly interact with patients in a productive and healthy way.
So while our minds are delicate, sensitive machines that are often times subject to the whims of our external environment, our careers don’t have to be the same way. With your Associate’s Degree in psychology, counseling, and mental health, you are preparing yourself for a wide range of opportunities to meet and help patients. Many individuals cannot necessarily control their thoughts or behaviors to the degree that they would like, but you have the unique skillset that will help empower individuals to make appropriate growth. There are a multitude of careers at a multitude of locations where patients are eagerly waiting for your talents, knowledge, and caring personality to help them.