Psychology: see the importance and what are the specialties

Going to the psychologist can be a way of learning to deal with feelings and emotions in a healthier way.

There is no need to have a learning disorder, cognitive impairment or any other social difficulty. Because the therapy is effective to deal with those stressful routines or internal conflicts as well

What is psychology?

Psychology is the science that seeks to study human and animal behavior, and all its mental processes, that is, personality, nervous system, intelligences, learning, emotions, human development, its subjectivity and complexity.

For psychology, our subjective world (intimate, individual, internal) is built from the interaction of the social and cultural world (the society and culture that surround us) and our action on that world.

It can be used both for the treatment of mental issues or disorders, as well as other applications.

It can be used by advertising, for example, to sell a product more efficiently, or else in the management of employees of a company, in the human resources sector.

At the moment, 324,868 psychologists work in Brazil. In the code of ethics of these professionals, respect and the promotion of freedom, dignity, equality and integrity of the human being are foreseen, as well as the promotion of the health and quality of life of people and communities.

Through this work, the professional must contribute to the elimination of any form of negligence, discrimination, exploitation, cruelty and oppression.

In this sense, the psychologist must also take into account the power relationships and their impact on professional activity, always promoting the principles of dignified life provided for in the Psychologists Code of Ethics.

What is psychology for?

Psychology has several functions, but we could say that the main and most relevant is the study of behavior and mental functions.

In short, psychologists seek to understand the role of mental functions in individual and social behavior, and to that end, they also study the physiological and biological processes linked to behavior and cognitive functions.

That is, in a reduced way, as a science, psychology serves to better understand the human being and what makes him act the way he does.

It is from these precepts and studies that psychology is able to appropriate various tasks and perform numerous functions ranging from the treatment of disorders (psychotherapy) to the development of more effective advertising campaigns.

The answer to this question is “no”, because in psychology, body and mind are studied in an integrated manner, precisely so that the question “why do we do what we do?” be more consistent with reality.

And we can go further in the reflection, questioning whether the mind and body are not polarities belonging to an individuality, like two sides of the same coin.

Some of the topics explored by psychology are:

  • Perception : how brain functions assign meaning to sensory stimuli (vision, hearing, touch, taste, smell, proprioception, etc.);
  • Cognition : the processes by which people acquire and develop knowledge and skills;
  • Attention : how the human being focuses mentally on some subject or object;
  • Emotion : subjective experiences, resulting from a stimulus from the environment ;
  • Intelligence : an individual’s capacity for different functions, such as logic, abstraction, memorization, communication, learning and others;
  • Personality : how human particularities influence the behavior of an individual or social group;
  • Behavior : how mental functions interfere in the behavior of individuals and social groups;
  • Interpersonal relationships : how people communicate, which guarantees the success or failure of communicative processes;
  • Resilience : an individual’s ability to deal with problems, adapt to changes or resist pressure and adverse situations.

Within this, they end up being responsible, also, for the development and application of psychological tests and for the construction of scales that seek to understand mental processes (attention, language, concentration, memory, etc.) to address problems such as depression , but also for others purposes, such as forensic psychology (application of psychology in the legal field).

What are the areas that a psychologist can work in?

There are several areas in which the psychologist can act and, differently from what many believe, the profession is not limited to attending patients in the office. The ones we list below are only a part of the psychologist’s possibilities of action. Check out:


child psicology

Child psychology is important for the proper development of children.

The professional pays attention to the training process, which may or may not involve disorders.

That is, sometimes there are problems in the school, family or intimate context that affect the child’s good development. At other times, the psychologist monitors disorders or pathologies that can affect social life.

As for adults, therapy can be a good ally in the education and life of the patient, even if it is in childhood.

Clinical psychology

Clinical psychology aims to study and treat mental disorders and the psychic aspects of other non-mental illnesses.

It has a wide area of ​​expertise, and professionals can work by applying tests, to measure individual performances, and with psychotherapy.

Organizational psychology

Organizational psychology seeks to study psychological phenomena present in organizations, acting mainly on organizational problems related to the management of Human Resources (HR).

It is the second largest area of ​​activity for psychologists, representing approximately 23% of professionals working in the area.

Among its main activities we can include:

  • Analysis of positions and salaries;
  • Selection and recruitment of new employees;
  • Application of psychological tests;
  • Conducting internal research on employees’ feelings and emotions;
  • Employee skills training;
  • Conflict resolution between employees;
  • Development of performance evaluation systems;
  • Evaluation of the effectiveness of a specific practice;
  • Promotion of quality of life in the work environment;
  • Tutoring and setting up of new employees.

Educational Psychology

Educational psychology studies the processes of learning and education.

It does not work exclusively with children, but with all patients who are having learning problems, always aiming to create interventions so that people can learn better and perform their functions with quality.

It also seeks to verify the effectiveness of educational strategies and the functioning of school institutions for the development of a more effective environment in meeting its goals.

They work together with other professionals, such as teachers and pedagogues, so that the educational process has more impact on the lives of students, focusing their action on activities beyond the school environment.

Many of the psychologists in this area focus on developing the skills and needs of children with learning disabilities, such as children with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, as well as patients with emotional and behavioral problems.

Sport Psychology

It is still a very recent area of ​​psychology, however, on the rise. The sports psychologist will work with the emotions, thoughts and behaviors that affect athletes and practitioners of physical activity.

Unlike clinical psychology, for example, sports psychology has developed its own theories to analyze the thoughts and behaviors that affect the performance of athletes on the field, helping them to better deal with their emotions in situations of extreme pressure, such as championship games .

Health psychology

Health psychology seeks, through the tools provided by psychology, to work on the development and preservation of health, acting on prophylaxis (disease prevention) and on the cure of illnesses.

Professionals in this area usually work in hospitals, caring for sick patients and their families, seeking to improve the quality of life and help them to overcome their problems, working on their emotions and the way to deal with them in the midst of illnesses or recovery.

Developmental Psychology

Developmental psychology has as main focus of study the changes that happen in human beings during their development, that is, how all interactions with the environment act in the cognitive, affective, social and psychomotor development.

In this way, the developmental psychologist will analyze the processes that all children, from birth, go through until they develop a certain skill.

That is, if development is taking place at the right time, what extra-emotional factors are promoting or preventing psychomotor acquisitions and other factors.

To give an example, she seeks to know if the newborn already knows how to suckle on the mother’s breast or if it has to be taught by the mother to suckle on the nipple.

Based on the entire theoretical basis created by the studies carried out in the area, professionals can monitor the children’s development, identifying any problems and offering treatment.

Forensic and legal psychology

Forensic psychology and legal psychology aim to apply the knowledge of the area in the scope of justice and law enforcement.

The role of the forensic or legal professional is to provide scientific resources (analyzes, reports, evaluations, etc.) to help legal professionals (lawyers, prosecutors, judges) to apply justice.

In the criminal sense, the professional in this area will study everything that refers to the criminal’s behavior, that is, his life history, possible disorders, which led him to crime and, based on these data, provide possible solutions.

However, the forensic / legal psychologist can also work with civil cases. For example, it may be that, during a separation process, one party accuses the other of being negligent and asks for total custody of the child.

At that moment, the professional enters the scene and must analyze the whole context, the life of the child, the parents and other people involved in the process, and provide a report for the judge to reach the correct decision.

Social Psychology

Social psychology tries to understand the “hows” and “whys” of social behavior. For this reason, the professional ends up working mainly in prisons, nursing homes and care centers for children and adolescents.

The professional makes a connection between social behavior and individual understanding, that is, between the areas of sociology and psychology, giving greater attention to the action of the collectives or of the man when he is interacting.

It is possible that psychosocial research extends to other segments, such as marketing and advertising, in the elaboration of campaigns, for example.

Traffic Psychology

The traffic psychologist deals with traffic-related problems by making psychological assessments on drivers and future drivers, as well as developing socio-educational actions with pedestrians and offending drivers.


The neuropsychologist works in the diagnosis, monitoring, treatment and research of cognition, emotions, personality and behavior, always relating the data collected to aspects of brain functioning.

Why seek a psychologist?

There are many reasons to seek a psychologist and many benefits in getting into therapy, which in most cases is a resource to better deal with common human emotions.

It is worth remembering that every consultation is based on confidentiality and professional ethics .

Everything that is said in a psychotherapy session is confidential, which provides security for you to talk about anything you want.

Check now the main reasons to go to the psychologist:

Self knowledge

One of the reasons to go to the psychologist is the search for self-knowledge. Through the construction of dialogue, a person can learn more about himself, about his fears, his desires and desires.

Throughout the sessions, the goal of therapy is to make her begin to understand the reasons why she acts the way she does, why she felt what she felt, and this has the direct consequence of an increase in the quality of life, as the From this knowledge, the person learns to deal better with his own feelings.

This does not mean that the person who attends the psychologist will not have difficult moments in his own life, but that he will be more resilient and have healthier mechanisms to get around these situations and move on.

Coping better with bad feelings

The anxiety , sadness, anger and discouragement are quite uncomfortable feelings by which everyone goes. However, some people find it easier to deal with them and others less so.

Through sessions, they can help patients and better deal with emotions, helping the patient to find the best ways to get around everyday situations.

Overcoming difficult situations and major changes

Situations such as the death of a loved one or separation from parents, for example, are always very complex and can generate a whirlwind of feelings in those involved, which are often difficult to deal with .

It is common for feelings like guilt or grief to remain present even years after a major event.

The psychologist is the professional trained to help in these moments, and can help his client to overcome these difficulties through reflections, reframing and other dynamics that occur during the psychotherapeutic process.

The same thing happens with patients who have been diagnosed with a serious illness and who must learn to live with it.

Psychologists from different fields help people to deal with these problems on a daily basis.

Solve relationship difficulties

Couples who are having relationship problems can seek the help of a psychologist to understand and seek solutions to their conflicts.

Through your eyes, you can analyze the complaints of both parties and mediate the process , helping the couple to overcome or modify the way they deal with their crisis.

Treating psychological disorders

Mental disorders may require drug treatment, which is done by psychiatrists. However, a very important type of treatment for these diagnoses is treatment with the psychologist.

According to a survey conducted jointly by Vanderbilt University, University of Pennsylvania, University of New Mexico and University Rush, patients in need of medications for depression have better results when combined with psychotherapy .

Which consists, in general, of the use of prescription drugs and follow-up with the psychologist.

By combining the two areas of mental health (psychology and psychiatry), the patient is more likely to be successful in his treatment, learning to deal better with the disease and its implications in daily life.

How does a consultation with the psychologist work?

Consultations with the psychologist in general have a similar dynamic .

They take place in weekly sessions lasting between 30 minutes to 1 hour, and their format depends on the psychotherapeutic approach followed by the psychologist. The frequency may vary according to the needs of each frame.

During the first session, and following the process, the psychologist will seek various information, from general data such as name, profession, including the motivation that led him to seek therapy.

There is no need to have the answer to all questions, after all, one of the things you will be looking for in the session is self-knowledge.

Depending on the therapeutic approach adopted by the professional, it may be that he does sessions with free association, in which you have total freedom to choose the topic, or else he may even suggest subjects.

It is important that the psychologist addresses delicate and difficult issues for you, such as relationship problems or even personal trauma.

trained professional knows the importance of reflecting on certain issues and will take into account the proper way to approach the issues .

In addition, it is necessary to remember that everything that is said in a psychotherapy session, except when the patient talks about hurting himself or others, is of a private nature and is protected by professional secrecy .

So don’t be afraid to talk about the dramas that plague you. The moment of psychotherapy is a safe time for you to expose what you want.

Online Psychologist

In Brazil, the Federal Council of Psychology (CFP) provides for the possibility of online psychological assistance. The resolution was updated in 2018 so that professionals in the area can offer consultations or psychological assistance from different areas, including psychotherapy, with the use of the internet in a regulated manner and meeting professional criteria.

According to the Council, the professional can also use the internet for personnel selection processes and perform psychological tests, as in an HR. However, not every type of service can be done online.

Children and adolescents must continue to be attended in person, except in cases where there is authorization from at least one of the guardians. Assisting people or groups in urgent or emergency situations should also be done only in person.

In addition, the care of people who have suffered violence or whose rights have been violated should also only be in person, as the practice of online psychology is still inadequate in these cases.

Controversy of apps

Recently, in the USA, a company that provides psychological assistance online, Better Help, became involved in a controversy due to the lack of security provided to customers.

The service provided by the app is simple: after doing a profile test, the app connects its clients to psychologists, using the test result as a basis to indicate a  psychologist who is supposed to match the user’s needs .

The controversy arose, however, due to the terms of use of the application, which said that the company was not responsible for checking whether the psychologist registered with the service really had the skills that he claimed to have.

Psychological test on the internet

It is easy to find psychological tests on the internet. They are as varied as possible and can be those that give personality traits or intend to indicate mental health.

In general, they can be done, but you need to take them more as a hobby than an effective diagnosis.

It is worth remembering that although there are consultations and therapies online, which are often quite effective in helping patients, only a trained professional can indicate if there is any emotional factor that needs attention.

Therefore, the search for information on websites and groups on the internet is always welcome, provided that it is done with awareness and due precautions are taken.

Faculty of Psychology

The psychology course lasts an average of 5 years and the vast majority has a bachelor’s degree, and there are some that offer a degree qualification, which trains teachers.

Among the main subjects taught in the course are:

  • Psychological assessment;
  • Human development and learning;
  • Gender, body and sexuality;
  • Neuropsychology;
  • Teaching and learning processes;
  • Behavioral psychology;
  • Sport psychology;
  • Health care psychology;
  • Juridical Psychology;
  • Society and madness;
  • Psychotherapeutic theory and techniques.

In addition, to complete a bachelor’s or bachelor’s degree, a student must complete a certain internship period.

Regional and Federal Council of Psychology

The Regional Psychology Councils aim to guide, discipline and supervise practicing psychology professionals, ensuring the ethical principles described in the Code of Ethics of these professionals.

Thus, the Regional Councils can act as regional courts of professional ethics as well as suggest to the Federal Council measures necessary for better guidance and inspection of professional practice.

As a result, it is the responsibility of the Federal Council to draw up its regulations, approve the regulations of the Regional Councils and define, under legal terms, the limit of competence for professional practice, as well as to prepare and approve the code of ethics and serve as the highest court of law. professional ethics.

What is the difference between a psychologist, a psychiatrist and a psychoanalyst?

The difference is due both to the academic background and the performance itself.

Psychologists are trained in the faculty of psychology, psychiatrists are trained in medicine and psychoanalysts are not necessarily trained in psychology or medicine, but have training in psychoanalysis to be able to work in the office.

The psychologist, as we have seen, can perform various activities, such as developmental psychology, human resources management (HR) and psychotherapy.

In this way, the psychologist can work with a wide range of issues ranging from mental disorders, such as depression, to day-to-day issues, such as a student’s learning disability, for example.

The psychiatrist, on the other hand, turns his work more to issues related to mental disorders (depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc.). Unlike the psychologist and the psychoanalyst, the psychiatrist can prescribe medication.

The treatment can be done with both professionals simultaneously, psychiatrist and psychologist, enhancing the result.

Professional and patient will seek a more functional and appropriate treatment for the condition and the body, taking into account issues such as side effects, effectiveness of the medication and the improvement of the patient’s quality of life.

There are psychiatrists who, like psychologists, also carry out the psychotherapeutic process with their clients.

In addition, because they are doctors, they can also prescribe medicines.

The psychologist does not prescribe and acts through psychotherapy.

Psychoanalysts assist their patients in the office, based on Freudian principles and / or their other aspects.

It is worth remembering that psychoanalysts and psychotherapists have different professional backgrounds.

Anyone with a college degree, even without a psychology background, can be a psychoanalyst, needing only to do a background in psychoanalysis, but to be a psychotherapist it is necessary to be trained in psychotherapy, that is, to go to the faculty of psychology .

What is the importance of the psychologist in health?

Although not everyone suffers from any psychological or mental change, requiring specific monitoring, it is believed that therapy can bring constant improvements to those who do it.

In general, people end up accumulating feelings and emotions, and do not always know how to deal with them correctly.

Psychological counseling can result in lighter ways of dealing with life, with changes, with problems and with one’s own personality.

Thus, with a more balanced emotional, the patient is able to have more health. The body processes emotions and problems related to stress better, for example, are avoided.

In addition, therapy helps to avoid bad habits. For example, there are those who smoke to relieve anxiety. Even worse, it is compulsive behaviors that develop through emotional factors.

Where can the psychologist work?

Psychologists can work in a variety of areas ranging from the public to the private sector. Of the places that psychologists can work, we can quote:

  • Schools;
  • Research Center;
  • Vocational training centers;
  • Employment centers;
  • Hospitals;
  • Health centers;
  • Courts;
  • Banks and private companies;
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs);
  • Institutions of social reintegration.

How much does a psychologist earn?

The psychologist’s billing can vary a lot, depending on the area that the professional chooses to follow. If he has his own office, the amount he will collect at the end of the month will depend on how much he charges for consultation, how many people he serves and how often.

If he has his own office, the amount he will collect at the end of the month will depend on how much he charges for consultation, how many people he serves and how often, whether he serves private or health insurance clients, whether he works at his own clinic or at third parties , in addition to other variables .

However, it may happen that this professional is hired to perform some function in a company or institution. In these cases, for clinical psychologists, the average salary is around R $ 2,600.00.

These values, however, can vary up or down depending on the area of ​​operation. A psychologist who works at a large advertising agency developing tests, for example, may end up earning a lot more than one who sees patients in a hospital, for example.

Psychology symbol

The symbol of psychology is not a trident , although it seems.

In fact, it is a Greek letter called “psi”. Knowing this, it is not difficult to see why this symbol was chosen to universally represent the “psi” colony.

Despite this, some people imagine that the symbol is a trident because this science is, in a way, related to demons and occult forces, due to past relations and interpretations about the mind.

In the past, what we understand today as mental disorders were considered demonic possessions or other supernatural phenomena, creating a false interpretation of the symbol.

This is because the term “psychology” itself has its origins in Greek. “Psyche” means “mind”, while “logos” means “study” or “knowledge”.

With the evolution of medicine, she became responsible for caring for diseases of the body, and religions for diseases of the mind or “spirit”.

Psychology is a recent science, Freud brought us his initial research just over a century ago.

It continues to develop and tends to grow over time, through research, and by dealing with such a growing and necessary subject.

Psychology is the science of the mind and can help in the treatment of various disorders, such as depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder , in addition to building an understanding of the human mind regardless of pathologies or emotional changes.

Find out more about the other areas of mental health at Minute Healthy!