Adolescent psychology is a sub-discipline of psychology. Teenagers are not children, so this is not child psychology. However, it isn’t adult psychology because teenagers aren’t adults either. Those interested in becoming an adolescent psychologist, however, will study child psychology and should likely pursue a doctoral program that focuses on treating adolescents.
Obtaining an undergraduate degree is the first step toward becoming an adolescent psychologist, and psychology is the best major to pursue. Many graduate programs will require a thorough understanding of the subject at the outset. Because people will have fewer options when choosing a graduate school, they will need to narrow it down to those schools that can provide them with extensive training in child and adolescent psychology.
Students will need to begin the process of choosing a graduate school during their late junior year of college. This necessitates both research and a decision. Students can pursue a PhD in philosophy or a PsyD in psychology (doctor of psychology). Students may opt for an EdD (doctoral degree in education), but licensing may be more difficult. A PsyD may be preferable if the goal is to treat patients, as the PhD is often more focused on research. However, there are several excellent schools that offer PhDs and extensive training in child and adolescent psychology.
Students will need to conduct additional research contacting schools after they have researched and narrowed the field. Obtaining program guides, speaking with advisors, and possibly touring campuses and meeting faculty are all excellent suggestions. Students should apply to several schools in order to increase their chances of being accepted to at least one.
Acceptance into a graduate program indicates that a person is serious about pursuing a career as an adolescent psychologist. They’ll spend the next three to six years in graduate school learning the skills they’ll need to work in this field. Students should take advantage of any opportunities to take classes in child or adolescent psychology, or they may be enrolled in a program that focuses on this topic. Personal counseling will be provided to psychology students during their studies, and they will be required to submit a final dissertation in order to graduate.
Graduation isn’t the end of the story. They must then obtain certification as an adolescent psychologist. This will take another year or two of supervised therapy before you can apply for licensure.
When people get their license, they are less likely to work as an adolescent psychologist. They’ve only recently decided to pursue a career as a psychologist. They could claim to have studied adolescence and be members of organizations dedicated to child and adolescent psychology. Theoretically, anyone who is a psychologist can become an adolescent psychologist, but the additional work and study in this area would undoubtedly benefit the population of patients a person wishes to treat.