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Professional Knowledge and Development

My career interest is in psychological research and counseling and I am studying psychology to acquire the professional knowledge, expertise and understanding required to embark on a successful career in this field. Psychology is a delicate science, and unlike medicine where there are visible and physical symptoms of any pathological onsets, the problems here occur at behavioral and cognitive levels.

Conscious and sub conscious mind play a significant part in problem identification and treatment and it requires exhaustive research, education and experience for a starter to take upon a successful professional career in the field. American Psychological Association (APA) is the leading organization in the field of psychological research which represents psychologists all over the USA. The organization has been instrumental in establishing psychology as a science and profession.

As a professional organization, APA is actively involved in promoting psychological research methods, designing and implementing quality control process checks to maintain highest professional standards and creating guidelines to ensure quality in psychological education, ethics and achievements (Lowman, 1991). The organization’s unflinching commitment to benchmarking, standardization and control process is one of the principle factors in growth and recognition of psychology as a branch of science.

APA guidelines form the basis of many schools’ and colleges’ psychological curriculum. APA style is followed widely across a number of colleges and universities as the standard formatting style. APA recognizes the work of researchers and educators in the field of psychology by a number of distinction and awards which are distributed every year to the outstanding contributors in the field (Lowman, 1991). These awards stand as the highest recognition in psychological studies and research. They also act as motivator for a new entrant in the field like me.

A search of APA’s database for the work and contributions of winners of these awards is helpful in understanding the directions taken by psychological research in recent years. For students starting in the psychology career, the periodic publications of APA prove very valuable in providing an in depth analysis and insight in the existing and latest research models, problems analysis and solution approaches. The organization publishes a number of reports, scholarly papers and academic journal articles covering all the branches of psychology and provides an authentic knowledge source in the related streams (Lowman, 1991).

It also maintains an impressive database of citations, references, dissertations, journal articles, book summaries, and chapters, dating from year 1800. This rich repository contains many case studies that come useful in creating a backdrop for understanding several existing problems in psychological researches. APA conducts various seminars, meetings and conferences where leading psychologists from around the world convene on the same platform to share their views, discuss, and debate on various psychological issues (Baron and Eagle, 1992).

These events are frequently attended by students and research fellows, and here they have an opportunity to interact with practicing and professional psychologist, listen and meet them and gain from their experience; such interactions form an important part in shaping up professional orientation and growth direction in this field. APA provides a number of career opportunities as well career guidelines for the new entrants in the (APA online). The organization facilitates voluntary apprenticeship of a beginner with a professional psychologist, which is of prime importance for a person like me who is just starting up in the field.

These opportunities are the key professional ingredients, vital in testing my understanding of the theory and its suitable application in the real world problems Reference APA Online. From http://www. apa. org/earlycareer/ Accessed online on 27. 05. 2009. Lowman, R. L. 1991. The Clinical Practice of Career Assessment: Interests, Abilities, and Personality; APA Books. Barron, J. W. and Eagle, M. N. 1992. Interface of Psychoanalysis and Psychology. APA Books, 1992. 647 pgs.

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