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Everything posted by Julia

  1. Hi everyone, What you can do with OR without a psychology degree One could say that I enjoy learning or that I really did not know what I wanted to do with my degree. After my psychology degree, I knew I still wanted to do therapy but I didn’t’ really know how to do it at that point. I still had no idea what social work was (that’s a whole different blog post :)). However, I did find a program that absolutely changed the way that I view the world. This was the Assaulted Women and Children’s Counselling and Advocacy (AWCCA) program at George Brown. Although I had a psychology degree prior to enrolling in this program, it is not necessary as there is a 2-year diploma option along with a fast track option if you have the necessary requirements. AWCCA is a phenomenal program but very specific in who it supports, as noted in the title. This college diploma is a sister program to a social service worker program. Although AWCCA does cover a lot of the same topics, it does so from a feminist and anti-racist lens. Unfortunately, the AWCCA program does not allow you the same options for college registration as the SSW program. Similar to the SWW program, the AWCCA program gives you the opportunity for 1-2 placement opportunities at local agencies to understand how violence shows up in different forms. The AWCCA focuses specifically on supporting individuals who have experienced gender-based violence. The definition of violence covers many different forms from psychological to emotional, to physical and sexual violence. Unfortunately, this is a topic that is all too well known to many female-identifying, trans, non-binary folks and children. This is not to say that men do not experience violence because they absolutely do and their experiences are incredibly valid. However, this focuses specifically on the experiences of gender-based violence. This course opened my eyes to the injustices that I was ignorant about growing up in a predominately white area. This program taught me so much about myself but also how violence is much more common than I expected. This course will teach you about the psychology of gender while giving you the counselling skills to support individuals in times of crisis. This course will encourage you to be engaged in activism while teaching you about the necessary steps to organizing round table conversations or political activist events. This program gave me the opportunity to do my placement at a local refugee shelter, which taught me about the immigration process and how to support individuals who are new to Canada. After I completed this program, I was able to secure a job as a residential counsellor at a local womens’ shelter, supporting women and families who were fleeing violent situations. This is just one of the many opportunities that this program can lead you to! For more information, check out their website and watch their video on the student experience! https://www.georgebrown.ca/programs/assaulted-womens-and-childrens-counselloradvocate-program-awcca-c137
  2. Hi everyone! If you are reading this post it means you could be interested in a degree in psychology! I am here to help you figure out whether this is the best path for yourself and will hopefully provide a little bit of information that I wish I knew when I was making my career decision. I am 29 years old and finished my degree in Honours psychology in 2014. Growing up, I can remember fondly wanting to be a therapist, one that is depicted in movies with the beautiful office and outfits, supporting individuals and families with their experiences and problems. Truthfully, I wanted to be a psychologist, however, I did not know what this actually meant and really how long the process would take or whether there were other options out there. I picked a university that I ended up loving, but I chose it because my friend’s mom who was a psychologist did her schooling there. I thought well if she did it there it must have an excellent psychology program and quite frankly, it was fine but I did not know what to expect. Although my psychology degree did lay a foundation for my career, it took a college program and now my master’s in social work to get to where I really want to be. Questions I wish I knew prior to going into my psychology degree What can you do with a psychology degree? You can absolutely do many things with a psychology degree, but many will require additional training and education, including a psychologist, social worker, psychotherapist, researcher, or teacher. What’s the difference between a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of science psychology degree? A bachelor of arts focuses more on the humanities and community work including social justice, whereas a bachelor of science focuses more on math and science. This distinction can be very helpful if you are interested in pursuing a psychology degree, specifically in what schools offer which programs. How long does it take to become a trained and licensed psychologist? After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in psychology, you will need to obtain at least a master’s degree if not your Ph.D. and a year of supervised interning prior to becoming a psychologist. According to the Canadian Psychological Association website, it can take between 5-8 years after completing your bachelor’s degree to obtain a Ph.D. in psychology. What does a master’s and Ph.D. require? Although I cannot speak to this completely, I do understand that a master’s and Ph.D. require conducting research. This personally was not something I cared to complete as I did not thrive in a research setting. However- I STRONGLY encourage you to explore what you are interested in. My experience definitely was not what I expected when I went to university. However, I also did not do the research that I should have done. I knew I wanted to do some sort of therapy but I did not understand even the different options that were out there, including a child and youth worker, residential counsellors at local shelters, community organizers among so many more. I hope for you as you explore your next steps is to really reflect and take time to figure out what you really want, utilizing journaling to explore your goals and figure out what that could look like. Have conversations with people who are in that field, ask them how they got there, who inspired them, what courses they found most interesting. Research the different programs at different schools. I can tell you that not every program is the same so figure out what best aligns with your values and goals. Lastly, I know that this time is very confusing but I want to let you know that it is totally OKAY for you not to know what you want to do. Everyone has their own journey and own timeline. However, I would encourage you also to figure out what you want to study prior to committing your valuable time and money to something you hate. Happy exploring!
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