What Careers are Available in Abnormal Psychology?

Abnormal PsychologyThough psychology is a general field, students studying at the advanced level can select from different concentrations and specialties, which will lead some students to learn more about the careers available in abnormal psychology. Abnormal psychology essentially refers to the ways in which people think and act that are different from the standard ways of thinking and acting. Those with a degree in abnormal psychology may find work at the community setting or in a specialized treatment center.

Substance Abuse Counselor

One of the careers available in abnormal psychology is that of a substance abuse counselor. These counselors work in treatment centers and help patients dealing with addictions to illegal drugs, prescription drugs and alcohol. They may offer group therapy sessions and treat multiple patients at once, but they often work one on one with patients as well. Some treatment centers handle addictions to certain types of behavior too, including sex addiction and gambling addiction. Though counselors cannot generally prescribe drugs to patients, they may work with licensed doctors to create a treatment plan that includes both medication and some form of therapy.

Working with Inmates

A growing number of psychology graduate students work in prisons, detention centers and jails across the country. They perform studies that show the needs of inmates and how professionals can meet the needs of this specialized population. Those in prison may have severe emotional issues and medical conditions that require some form of treatment, including depression and schizophrenia. The primary role of an inmate counselor is treatment, but they also handle prevention as well. They work with those in control to create a plan that will treat the inmate and reduce the risk of that inmate committing crimes in the future.

In Research and Academia

Many of the careers available in abnormal psychology are at the research or academic level. Those hoping to teach at a college or university must earn a higher level degree, and some schools will only hire professors who published work and have a PhD. Some may find work teaching at the community college level with a lower level graduate degree. Those interested in research may work for private learning centers or colleges. They typically look at the ways in which people act in abnormal ways and do research that shows how different factors can lead individuals to act in specific ways.

Community Jobs

According to the American Psychological Association, one field open to those interested in abnormal psychology is at the community level. Community psychologists typically assist a specific group of people or a smaller population of people. They may work with a larger school district to find the largest problems affecting students and create programs to help students. Community psychologists often work with victims of natural disasters and abuse as well, to help them recover from the problems they experienced. These psychologists may also work in health centers and offer support and therapy for patients recently diagnosed with different diseases.

Related Resource: Psychology Jobs in a Hospital

Any thought, behavior, emotion or action that a person exhibits that is outside of the norm is abnormal. Abnormal psychologists work in a wide range of different settings to treat patients who cannot help themselves. Working with inmates, helping the community at large, counseling addicts and working in research/academia are just a few of the careers available in abnormal psychology.