Полоцкий государственный университет

Polotsk
State
University

How to make the right career choice? – the question on everyone’s minds. First of all, you need to learn more about the areas you are interested in.

Psychologists have always been, and will continue to be in demand in the modern world. A psychologist: who is it? Someone who can hear the person out, someone who can put himself in another person’s shoes, fight negative emotions and find a way out of a difficulty. A psychologist treats one’s soul. Psychology doesn’t treat the body, psychology treats the soul. What is a good psychologist like? He/She is able to handle stress, has observation skills, logical thinking, tactfulness and sincere interest on others.


Future educational psychologists are trained under the specialty “Practical Psychology” at the Faculty of Humanities of Polotsk State University. Is getting a Psychology Degree worth it? What is good about being a psychologist? Doing a Psychology course: what is it like? Interesting? Then let’s figure out what it is. We interviewed students and graduates of the specialty “Practical Psychology” and here’s what we have…

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Why do students choose the specialty “Practical Psychology”?

#my choice

Yulia Krivushonok (a 3rd-year student): “For me personally, it has been my dream since I was a little girl. I always loved studying people, listening to their life stories, reflecting on why they did exactly so in this situation. During adolescence, various films / series about psychologists also influenced me. In the final year of secondary school I became interested in clinical psychology, and began to read the relevant literature”.

Anastasia Artemenok (a 4th-year student): “To my mind, most people choose this specialty in order to solve some of their internal problems and understand themselves a bit better. I’m good with people and I’d like to learn more about the human psychology and become knowledgeable about it”.

Psychologist job viewed by students

#a teacher-psychologist: who is it?

Yu.K.: “Who is a teacher-psychologist? I suppose children should not be afraid of confining their secrets to a psychologist, a person who is a close friend to a child. For this reason, empathy, attentiveness, the ability to hear (not listen) people, the desire to help and support are the most important qualities of a psychologist.

Psychological knowledge is of use for every person. And PSU lecturers hands it to students on a plate. A greater understanding of how humans think and behave will help people communicate better”.

Roman Chernooky (a 3rd-year student): “I like this specialty because it gives the opportunity to help children who have some difficulties. A teacher-psychologist, and just a psychologist, first of all, is a tutor for a child or an adult, who should be sociable, competent, understanding and empathetic”.

А.А.: “This specialty helps to understand yourself, and that allows you to help others. We were taught to find an approach to children of different ages, which will be useful in parenthood in the future. In my opinion, a psychologist should be kind and empathetic, self-confident, respect the opinions of other people and have a positive attitude to life”.

Why is it interesting to study Practical Psychology?

#take a degree in psychology at PSU #students’ life

Yu.K.: “Students of the specialty “Practical Psychology” take an active part in the university life. Anastasia Sushch, our group leader, participated in “Student of the Year 2019” contest and was the finalist of “Miss Novopolotsk 2018” contest. Some of my groupmates are the winners in “Queen of Spring at PSU” contest. We have the prize holders of scientific conferences and international Olympiads, including the international contest of scientific papers “Quality of Education”

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As for the educational process, I think that the distinctive feature of our specialty is training. A training is a common activity throughout the whole study. At first, we ourselves participate in training analyzing all its features, after that we independently conduct it. Training is a good way to distract attentions from other disciplines and even resolve one’s internal conflicts.

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Thanks to the creativity of our lecturers, we tried out many different ways to learn the material at the seminars: projects, debates, group works, creative skits, crosswords, written polls, and essays. In a nutshell, the classes are exciting and interesting.

As it has already been mentioned above, every teacher thinks creatively about how to present new material. Where else will Doctor of Psychology give you lectures?”

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А.А.: “Each course always covers interesting subjects that might be put into practice. For example, we study such disciplines as general psychology, modern psychology of emotions, psychology of deviant behavior among children and adolescents, psychophysiology, neuropsychology, social and differential, experimental and crisis psychology, and other disciplines. It’s not easy to study this or that type of psychology. You might need the whole day to get a handle on the terminology”.

R.Ch.: “Annually our group participates in “Psychology Days at PSU”, carries out research, takes part in international inter-university olympiads and wins prizes. Besides, we took part in a hackathon dedicated to Inclusive Education.

My favourite subject is neuropsychology, and the teachers are Natalia Strunina and Svetlana Ostapchuk”

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#psychological practice

Yu.K.: “In the 2nd year, we had an introductory practice. It was very exciting, since for the first time we had the opportunity to gain practical experience. Friendly and experienced teachers of educational institutions showed us the reality of the psychologist job and shared their experiences. In the 3rd year, we had a diagnostic practice.

I have two more practices ahead: in the summer recreation camp and a practice for undergraduates in the 4th year. This will prepare us for future work in the specialty, where the student performs absolutely all the duties of a teacher-psychologist”.

R.Ch.: “In the 2nd year, we had practice at school and in a kindergarten. We got acquainted with the documentation of a psychologist. Psychodiagnostic practice in the 3rd year included the study of a child’s cognitive sphere. I remember best how I had to find contact with a withdrawn child through the game, and everything worked out”.

А.А.: “4 years of study = 5 practices. In the 2nd year, we only got acquainted with the work of a psychologist in school, kindergarten, university and in the territorial center. Cognitive practice allowed us to learn more about this profession and learn from the experience of the older generation.

In the 3rd year, we had practice in a kindergarten and in school, worked with children, performed various diagnostics and wrote conclusions. We also served as summer camp teachers. This practice was the most interesting one for me. We had to use all our knowledge about age-related characteristics and find an approach to each child. This is an invaluable experience that will be of use for me in the future.

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We had a two-month undergraduate practice in the 4th year. We could try ourselves as real psychologists, we conducted consultations, remedial classes and trainings. I realized what difficulties await me and how to deal with them”.

Is getting a Psychology Degree worth it? What prospects do students have after graduating?

#students’ advice

Yu.K.: “Studying at PSU I acquired knowledge necessary for my future profession, valuable experience in working with children, which will be useful in the future, new friends and future colleagues, as well as the opportunity to fulfill my creative and scientific potential.

Yes, I’m going to work in my specialty and further develop in this area. Perhaps I will go through further training or retraining as a clinical psychologist, finally fulfilling my childhood dream.

If you are interested in communicating with people, understanding their motives and actions then practical psychology is for you. Even if you are not going to work in your specialty, knowledge in psychology, especially such in-depth one, will never be useless”.

А.А.: “During the course in ‘Practical Psychology’ you’ll learn how to understand yourselves and other people, interact with children and understand their particular features, find true friends that will support you. This course will help you grow and find something new for yourselves”.

Working in the specialty is not a problem. Graduates of the specialty “Practical Psychology” (“Practical Psychology. Foreign Language”) of Polotsk State University shared their experiences and spoke about the opportunities that students have after graduation.

#PSUgraduates

Irina Frutskaya, a graduate, a child psychologist at the Novopolotsk City Psychoneurologic Dispensary, an HR manager in an international organization, director of the Terra Kot Art Space: “Previously, I worked as a teacher of psychological disciplines at PSU. I enjoyed sharing practical experience with students and find a response. Now I work as a child psychologist, conduct diagnostics, correction, psychological counseling for children, adolescents and parents, provide emergency assistance, develop informational materials.

I love the profession of a psychologist because you always see the practical result of your work: children feel better, even with serious diagnoses. Besides, it is the opportunity to accumulate clinical experience and work with complex cases, which, in fact, I was looking for. It is an incredibly interesting and valuable experience to work in a team with colleagues: clinical psychologists and psychiatrists.

I carry out private psychological practice as well. For me, this is what I have been studying for my whole life: before, during and after university. This is a very difficult activity, requiring large physical, moral and financial investments to become a high-level expert, but it’s worth it.

The knowledge and skills gained at the university and as a result of practical activities, help me in the HR manager work. After all, I constantly communicate with people: I am engaged in the search, selection, training and evaluation of personnel, I also help to adapt to new conditions. And I advise the management team on organizational issues, make sure that there are no conflict situations. Helping to form not only an individual personality, but also an entire team is a kind of art.

The profession of a psychologist is vital nowadays. The need of people for our help is growing, although few people admit this to themselves. People need the guides that will help them to adapt to the world, teach them to communicate with each other, make friends, build healthy relationships with themselves and others, and find their place in the world”.

Kristina Ovodneva, a graduate, HR manager: “It's not a secret that salaries in the kindergartens and schools are low. But any experience is, first of all, an opportunity to grow professionally. You always have to start somewhere. And in the future, you can undergo a training and work as a family psychologist, deal with gestalt psychology, continue studying, develop and it would be perfect to go through consultations with a psychologist yourself to completely solve your own problems.

The specialty itself is amazing. I know for a fact that the lecturers at “Practical Psychology” are wonderful. But after graduation, you realize that your experience and skills matter the most. Our country practices life-long learning i.e. you can always learn something new and broaden range of your opportunities.

Psychology is a part of my life. I am engaged in staff recruitment and various trainings for staff organization, I monitor the psychological state of employees. HR is also a kind of psychologist. The only difference is that “personnel manager” is written in my employment record book”.

Daria Deminova, a senior student, a teacher-psychologist at the State Educational Institution “Secondary School № 16 of Polotsk”: “The profession is very interesting and creative, it requires constant self-improvement. What does a psychologist at school do? Of course, a psychologist conducts psychological counseling for children, parents, teachers, increases the awareness of students about psychology, conducts psychocorrection, provides diagnostic and preventive activities and much more other things. A teacher-psychologist has to be responsible, energetic, tolerant for other people, flexible and competent. In the modern world, specialists in psychology are in demand, so I was right about choosing this specialty”.

If you are a creative person who is interested in psychology, if you want to improve your knowledge and to understand people better, then
#Welcome to Practical Psychology!


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Полоцкий государственный университет

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Tatiana Osipova