Forensic Psychology – How to Become a Forensic Psychologist

A healthy body does not only mean the absence of diseases and illnesses; instead, it is a state…

A healthy body does not only mean the absence of diseases and illnesses; instead, it is a state of physical and mental wellbeing. Physical and psychological health are interrelated, and they lay a foundation for emotional and social wellness. When one aspect of health is affected, it also harms the other one. Modern healthcare recognizes the importance of psychological wellbeing and has made it an integral part of the medical field. No longer people brush their mental problems under the carpet, and many have started coming forward to seek professional help. Various psychologists serve in healthcare facility centers and work alongside other medical professionals to deal with patients’ mental health issues, critical to improving overall wellbeing.   

Psychology 

The human mind is an enigma, and people find it fascinating as it has various puzzling elements. Psychology is the study of individuals’ minds, mental processes, and behaviors. History tells us that psychology was initially a part of philosophy and emerged as a separate field in the late 19th century. Today, psychology has advanced tremendously and taken the shape of a full-fledged area. It is a popular academic discipline and a successful career practice. Several sub-fields of psychology have come to the forefront with time, further expanding the field.

When people think about psychologists, an image of a person sitting comfortably taking notes appears in mind. While psychologists assist people in dealing with mental traumas through talking therapy, they also work in other settings and perform different jobs. Psychology is not limited to treatment and counseling; it encompasses experimentation, research, and deciphering the complexities of the human mind. Today, psychologists can choose any area of specialization and get an in-depth insight into the specific field. In the modern technologically-driven world, they can turn to digital tools to master the art of psychology. For instance, those interested in forensic psychology can enroll in an online forensic psychology degree and hone the requisite skills. Likewise, others can pursue comparative psychology, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, and the list goes on. However, our focus today remains on forensic psychology. 

 

Let’s dive into it:

 

Forensic Psychologists

Forensics has originated from the Latin word “Forensic,” meaning forum, or Ancient Rome’s judicial system. Recently there is a surge in television shows that primarily deal with criminals and display their magnetic personalities. People have become obsessed with such shows as they are gaining immense popularity. Forensic psychology is a unique blend of psychology and law, and it deals with criminals’ minds. In understandable terms, we can say that it is clinical psychology in legal terms. Forensic psychology dives deep into the relationship between the criminal justice system and human psychology. In civil cases, forensic psychology deals with criminals. These psychologists are responsible for determining criminals’ motives behind a crime, whether personal or caused by mental disorders. They perform investigations in criminal cases, such as child abuse cases or homicide. 

How to Become a Forensic Psychologist?

Forensic psychology is a dynamic and challenging field. Firm persuasion, effective communication, analytical thing, presence of mind, and nerves of steel are the skills that help forensic psychologists in performing their job. Depending on a career choice, it might take 4 to 9 years to become a forensic psychologist. The following are steps of becoming a forensic psychologist:

  1. Register in an undergraduate program with a major relevant to forensic psychology
  2. After earning an undergraduate degree, apply for an internship
  3. Meanwhile, enroll in a higher degree, Masters of Forensics Psychology; many people choose to work after earning a Master’s degree
  4. Apply for a doctorate program, which may take up to 4 years and allow you to focus on a specific area of forensic psychology
  5. Although it is optional, Ph.D. holders in forensic psychology can register with the government board of professional psychology
  6. The last step is to pass the Professional Practice of Psychology exams and then apply for the license
  7. Once you have earned the license, you can serve at a higher designation of forensic psychology

Most areas require forensic psychologists to obtain a doctorate as it requires extensive research and education. People applying for Ph.D. programs typically hold bachelor’s or master’s degrees in criminal justice, criminology, or forensic psychology. 

What do Forensic Psychologists do?

Forensic psychology is more challenging and demanding than depicted in television shows, and forensic psychologists serve in different settings. Some of the typical duties of forensic psychologists include:

  • Researching criminality while pursuing education
  • Investigating criminal cases
  • Evaluating child custody 
  • Collaborating with law enforcement agencies
  • Treatment of criminal offenders 
  • Testifying as expert witnesses 
  • Providing recommendations for sentences

Forensic psychologists help determine if people dealing with the legal system have some mental disorder or have gone through abuse or traumatic experiences in the past. 

 

Conclusion

Forensic psychology, an applied branch of psychology, is a booming field and attracts many students every year. Many people seek to determine the motives of criminals, and forensic psychology helps them satisfy their craving by making a career in the field. Forensic psychologists undergo training in law and possess solid clinical skills. Their investigations, assessments, and evaluations help judges make the final decision. Therefore, if this field spikes your interests, we have provided you the pathway to becoming a forensic psychologist.  

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