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How to choose internships in psychology in India? Internships in psychology

Both optimists and pessimists contribute to society. The optimist invents the aeroplane, the pessimist the parachute.”

- Sigmund Freud

This quote by none other than the father of psychoanalysis really makes you think about how every person on earth has something to offer, something to contribute. Likewise, now that you have made the decision to make a career out of the noble profession, psychology, you too have a lot to offer to the society.

As a psychology aspirant, you are constantly looking for opportunities to upskill yourself and equip yourself with the right qualities required to excel in the field. An internship in psychology is one such crucial part of gaining that practical knowledge you have been waiting for. The first-hand experience that you obtain provides you with a real-world perspective as opposed to the lectures and academics you are already going through.

Not all psychology students mandatorily require internships to graduate, at least at the undergraduate level. However, at the post-graduate level, you are required to pursue internships in your specific sub-fields to complete your degree. It is to be kept in mind that not all internships will be paid opportunities, they are by large voluntary. You might be doing some basic work but it definitely counts as a great learning exposure. Besides, you can learn a lot by just observing and internships can give you a sneak peek into the actual working of the world.

Ultimately, it is your choice whether you want to do an internship or not. But how do you make that choice? How to know which one is the right internship for you? And which experience will benefit your unique interests and skills? Keep reading to know how to choose the right internship in psychology in India.

Benefits of psychology internships

It has been established quite firmly that internships do provide you with practical skills, something you cannot possibly achieve from your classrooms. In fact, the theory part that you learn in college can be put to work in a professional setting through internships.

Looking at this from a different perspective, internships can give you confidence and help you market yourself better during job interviews. Additionally, recruiters are also looking for people who have had some sort of exposure in the field of their liking. And of course, you learn plenty of skills during these internships that will shape your existing skills to do better in the field. It is true that each person possesses different skills and aptitudes and will develop their unique set of skills at the end of the internship tenure. It is advisable to communicate your goals and aspirations from an internship to your supervisor to get the best out of the opportunity. Let us look at some of the basic skills you will gain during an internship:

How to listen?

Probably one of the formative skills a psychologist requires is how to listen. Learning how to truly listen is no cakewalk and takes immense practice and patience.

How to communicate?

Along with listening comes communication which is equally an important aspect of becoming a successful psychologist. Not only will you carefully listen to your clients, but you will have to learn how to effectively communicate with them as well.

How to be empathetic?

It is vital that you learn how to deal with your feelings and emotions while listening to your client. Being empathetic has nothing to do with feeling bad for your client but being able to feel what they must have felt, or being in their shoes. This will refine your response and accelerate growth within the clients as well.

How to deal with diversity?

It is very common in psychology to meet new people every day and deal with them, so, as an upcoming psychologist, you need to enable yourself to work with all kinds of people. An internship will let us experience it!

How to be a problem solver?

As said earlier, interns have a shot at observing professionals and how they handle their challenging jobs. A great deal can be learned about dealing with situations of difficulty and using analytical skills to solve problems.

These are just some qualities you will acquire from an internship besides a few other skills with respect to your specialties.

Looking for psychology internships? Where to look?

Internships are for all and everyone in the field of psychology. Whether you are someone pursuing a full-time degree from a college or someone who is planning to enter the field, there are numerous opportunities awaiting you. By taking the right steps you can land yourself the perfect internship!

Assess yourself

The first step is to comprehend your interests and goals to be achieved before looking for internships. It would be beneficial to plan your career path beforehand or maybe just a rough roadmap. If you are a full-time college student, plan your subject choices and lay out a clear path for yourself. In case you are pursuing distance learning or entering psychology from a different field, you will be able to assess yourself better as your passion for the subject got you here. Educate yourself about various fields in psychology and the ways you can achieve them to select the path for you.

Traditional way

The conventional way to procure internships is through your college's on-campus resources. Students who are pursuing psychology through traditional colleges have the advantage of using their institution's network to obtain appropriate opportunities. Approach your placement cell to get advice and select from the range of offers they can provide for you. However, you also have the option of accessing internships that are available online.

Distance learners and newbies

Distance learners and people entering the field in unconventional ways need to focus on adopting a more direct approach concerning internships. During your search, you must look at opportunities in NGOs and social institutions that don’t necessarily mandate a psychology background. Psychiatrist institutions and rehab centers are also popular internship destinations. Although these opportunities can be availed by other seekers too, however, if you are a non-traditional aspirant, keep an openness to explore options available to you. Organisations that are into social work, basically not profit-oriented will work with less funding and the community at large. They are likely to help but may have limited opportunities to work with professionals as guides or mentors until further experience.

Online Internships

With technology and mental health reaching heights, you will find a plethora of breakthroughs on the internet. If you want to engage in an internship independently, a number of ads are posted by recruiters from time to time on sites like Naukri, Indeed, Internshala and LinkedIn. These popular recruitment sites have opportunities that can further your career. As psychology gains importance, the offers are also on a raise on such platforms. Many mental health organisations also provide online internships. Which an accessed on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. After COVID-19, the online market has skyrocketed with jobs that can be undertaken remotely. Many start-ups and companies have emerged that primarily focus on mental health, therefore extending your horizon of opportunities.

A few things to remember while choosing an internship

Build our network

It is important to connect with like-minded people and exchange thoughts and ideas. Networking within your workplace is very crucial to growth and development. Don’t be afraid to talk to your peers and widen your scope of networking. You’d be surprised at what they know about their community and work. You can get a good hold on the field. Social media sites are also recommended to reach potential internship locations.

Seek guidance

You must talk to your professors for internships as they would have good contacts in the industry. Use the network available to you to procure work that you might not otherwise know about. Many schools and companies also offer career services to their distance learning students. Take advantage of these services, especially if your college has an internship department.

Identify the work

It would not be wise to completely rely on online postings. Look for organisations and meet them in person to know the workplace better. If some don’t respond, don’t be disheartened and keep trying to seek internships. As they say, consistency is key! You will find the place that is right for you.

Contact professionals

If you know professionals working at mental health institutions, use your connection as they are in direct touch with what you are seeking. You can also ask the professionals who work at these organizations for suggestions of other opportunities.

At Counsel India, we offer the best practical psychology courses. Contact us at info@counselindia.comto know more.


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