Psychopathology is a subspecialty of the psychology field that studies maladaptive behaviors, mental illnesses and mental distress. Millions of Americans and many more across the globe suffer from different forms of these conditions. With brain science advancing to the point that it has in the last 50 years, many psychologists are fighting back against the ravages these conditions can take on human beings.
Working in the field of psychopathology requires an equal understanding of brain science and behavioral disorders. Candidates for this field must have excellent research skills. If you’re considering the field of psychopathology, it is recommended that you check everything you think you know about human behavior at the door and be open to the realities of science as it pertains to various illnesses.
What Does a Psychopathologist Do?
This subspecialty is closely associated with the broader field of abnormal psychology. In fact, the two terms are often used interchangeably. To make a difference in the field of psychopathology, you must be ready to take part in observational and analytical activities. The only way to understand behavioral patterns is to see them in action.
From there, it’s important to sync understanding with the reality of brain waves and neural activity. Abnormal psychologists have learned much about the way the mind works in the last 50 years. Many conditions, such as schizophrenia, while still incurable, have seen many medical advancements thanks to the efforts of abnormal psychologists. Working in this profession places you at the frontline of the battle against mental disorders.
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Careers in Psychopathology
Careers in this field are more common than you might think. Upon achieving a psychopathology degree you may go on to work in education, training the next generation for field science work. You may go to work for drug companies helping to develop the next great treatment of the future for countless mental illness and anxiety disorders. You may even work at the clinical level treating mentally ill patients.
Salaries in this field generally run from $60,000 to $80,000 annually, depending on geographic location and population density. Job opportunities are more abundant in heavily populated areas, but each of the 50 states is open to some opportunity for the discerning psychopathology professional.
Obtaining a Psychopathology Degree
Psychopathology degree training owes much to behavioral science and applied research skills. Generally, those able to find employment within the profession must have a doctorate degree with extensive experience in behavioral science fields. Some schools require a lengthy dissertation or applied research project before granting a doctorate.
Certification and licensing standards vary by state. Make sure you check with the psychology licensing board to learn all the qualifications for accreditation.