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Child psychologist how to become uk

What do they do?

Passionate about providing children with a better future? You should become a Child Psychologist…

Child Psychologists help children and young people with a range of mental and behavioural problems – including everything from depression and anxiety, to phobias, trauma, and aggression.

Their job is to observe and analyse patients’ behaviour in age-appropriate situations (e.g. playtime activities with children, or supportive discussions with teenagers) – in order to understand their feelings, determine the route of the problem, and provide support and treatment

Although they often see patients individually, Child Psychologists could also carry out sessions in a group – with parents or other family members.

Typical tasks for a Child Psychologist could include:

  • Studying children’s’ actions using cognitive testing
  • Using their training to decipher meaning from behaviours
  • Offering both short-term and long-term treatment plans
  • Carrying out consultations and interventions
  • Liaising with other health and educational professionals
  • Attending conferences and meetings
  • Supervising trainees

You need a qualification to become a child psychologist

The way that we think about child development has changed. In the past, children were seen as little adults whose minds were effectively blank slates. They were dressed and treated like grown-ups, with exposure to education believed to be all that was needed to progress. We now know that how we learn is far more complex and animalistic, stemming from both our interactions with other people and the world around us. 

Child psychology is one of the most popular branches of the field and explores the way that our brains and behaviour advance over time. Studying development from the womb until adolescence, offers a fascinating insight into our mental, emotional, physical, and social growth.  

The topic encompasses cognitive development, motor skills, language building and personal identity. By taking a closer look, we can identify cause and effect, enabling us to seek solutions for struggling children.  

If you have a desire to turn your interest in child psychology into a career, then you may be wondering how to become a Child Psychologist, and why understanding young people matters. Below, we have delved into the inner workings of child psychology and the qualifications you need to secure child psychology jobs. 

Why Learn More About Child Psychology? 

Our first few years can have an irreversible impact on our lives and coping mechanisms. Many children need extra support, and child psychologists play a crucial role in keeping families together and protecting vulnerable young people. If you are wondering how to become a Child Psychologist in the UK and take on a job in a profession which is both challenging and rewarding, continue reading. 

If you have an enquiring mind and a passion for giving back to the community, this career path is for you. Becoming a Child Psychologist could see you helping clients from diverse backgrounds. By looking at behaviour from different perspectives and within a variety of cultural frameworks, you can diagnose and treat social, emotional, and cognitive problems. 

What Do Child Psychologists Do? 

Child psychologists look for patterns in learning and behavioural development issues. They work with children that have been through traumatic situations or have lifelong conditions, such as autism.  

Clients will often have a combination of problems that require patience and time to address. Treatment can involve Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and working together with a child to manage their emotions in a healthier way. 

The challenges of becoming a Child Psychologist include keeping young people engaged and committed to any counselling programmes. What makes the work that professionals do so vital is that they look for ways in which past environments and lack of care has led to current problems.  

Seeking to fully understand children is one of the most effective ways to help them. The internet has made it much easier for people to share their experiences of raising children and to publicly celebrate milestones. More than ever before we are striving to make sense of developmental changes and passing on our findings.  

Mums and dads often find that a basic knowledge of psychology enhances their parenting techniques. Family life can improve if consequences are used to influence behaviour, and learning more about child development can help parents set age-appropriate expectations. As a professional, your task will be to pass on strategies to your clients, ensuring that their children grow into well-adjusted adults. 

What Skills Do You Need to Become a Child Psychologist? 

To work successfully as Child Psychologist, you need a range of qualifications, but before we delve into the types of child psychology courses you can study, consider the soft skills you need to cope with this demanding role. 

While working as a Child Psychologist, UK professionals will need to possess a range of skills, including: 

  • Sensitivity – You will be working with children, adolescents, and families that are dealing with emotional problems, so it is important that you handle every situation sensitively 
  • Communication – Being able to communicate well is essential when working as a Child Psychologist, as part of your role will be to relate to the children you treat as well as their families and other professionals you work with 
  • Resilience – There is no doubt that working in child psychology brings with it plenty of situations that are emotionally draining. As a professional Child Psychologist, you will need to learn how to cope with clients potentially overwhelming you with difficult issues 
  • Confidence – A child or adolescent will only want to confide in you if you are trustworthy and are confident in what you do. They will be relying on you to help them explore difficult emotions and situations 
  • Organisation – If you have multiple clients, you will need to organise records and your schedule expertly. Being able to manage your workload is a key part of working as a Child Psychologist 

What Qualifications Do I Need to be a Child Psychologist? 

To become a professional Child Psychologist, you need to go to university and gain a degree in a relevant subject, such as: 

  • Psychology 
  • Nursing 
  • Social Work 
  • Sociology 

Students must also work towards a master’s or PhD, before they can specialise in areas such as educational psychology, counselling or clinical psychology. You may also need at least two years’ experience working with children or families, and this experience can be from a previous professional role or a voluntary stint. 

Child psychology has no direct route but can be the next step from many of these fields. If you’re new to the subject, then learning with Stonebridge Associated Colleges will introduce you to a range of child psychology topics. Build the confidence to make the leap to higher education, as you discover more about: 

  • How we start to smile 
  • The ways in which attachments first form 
  • The effects of maternal deprivation 
  • Why interactions with family members are important 
  • Efficient research methods and ways of interpreting data 
  • How our visual perception increases to judge distance and depth 
  • The development of language and communication skills 
  • Different ways in which we define and test intelligence 
  • The nature/nurture debate and gender roles 

Our Child Psychology course is designed to provide you with a foundational knowledge that you can expand with further study. If you are mulling over whether to pursue child psychology jobs, then this course will give you a taste of what’s to come should you decide to take this route. 

Our solutions allow you to study child psychology online from the comfort of your own home, with every module being delivered through our industry-leading learning platform. The modules you cover will be broken down into two sections, which we have outlined below: 

Module One: Major Developmental Issues 

  • The First Year of Life 
  • The Formation of Attachments 
  • Consequences of Breakdowns in Attachments 
  • The Home, Family and School 
  • Basic Principles of Research Methods 
  • The Development of Visual Perception 
  • The Development of Language and Communication 
  • Intelligence and Intelligent Testing 
  • The Nature/Nurture Debate in the Study of Intelligence 
  • Data Collection and Interpretation 

Module Two: The Child as an Individual 

  • How Children Think 
  • Learning Theory – How Behaviour is Acquired 
  • Freud’s Psychodynamic Theory – An Alternative Approach 
  • Moral Development 
  • The Development of Gender Roles 
  • Aggression in Children 
  • Methods Used in Child Development Research 
  • Play 
  • Learning in School 
  • Behaviour Modification 

The course offers an in-depth look at psychological studies, alongside interactive resources. You can work from home, in your own time, and this flexibility will enable you to train for a new career, without affecting family life or your full-time job.  

You may also want to explore the Child Psychology Skills course we provide, as well as the Counselling Children and Adolescents course we deliver online. 

After you study child psychology online, you’ll come away with a strong academic base that you can tailor to any number of education and employment pathways. 

Child Psychology Career Progression 

Becoming a Child Psychologist will offer a starting salary of at least £24,000, with scope to reach £60,000 per annum with experience. By taking introductory child psychology courses, you can add to your CV and show a commitment to learning that will impress higher education establishments and future employers. 

Child psychology qualifications are also an ideal way for parents, or anyone working with children, to update their skills. You can apply your knowledge to family life, or job opportunities in hospitals, schools, private clinics, or mental health facilities. You could go on to pursue a role in: 

  • Counselling 
  • Speech and Language Therapy 
  • Social Work 
  • Community Support 

Study Child Psychology Online Today! 

If you are starting from scratch and want to pursue a career as a Child Psychologist, then before studying a degree, get familiar with the discipline through child psychology courses. Stonebridge Associated Colleges are specialists in long distance learning, and with our help, you can study child psychology online. 

If you enjoy the course and want to continue your pursuit of child psychology jobs, then you can take the next step in your academic journey. To get started, speak to one of our Course Executives today on 0121 392 8288 or contact us online. You can also discover our range of learning distance courses by clicking below. 

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