Steps in becoming a psychologist

How to Become a Psychologist: Education, Licensure & Careers

Becoming a psychologist leads you on a path where you can help people manage life’s difficulties and better cope with their mental health problems. If you are interested in psychology as a profession, you generally need a doctoral degree—either a PhD, PsyD or EdS—in the field. But a number of states do allow individuals to get a psychology license with a master’s degree.

After receiving an undergraduate degree in any subject and a graduate degree in psychology, psychologists will complete an internship or postdoctoral training period that lasts at least one year. It is important to note that any individual with an undergraduate degree can apply for a master’s in psychology. Once they receive their license and meet the state requirements or additional specialization credentials, psychologists can provide counseling and psychotherapy as well as testing and treatment for mental disorders. However, they are not medical doctors and cannot prescribe medications. Instead, psychologists work alongside medical doctors who provide those treatments.

Why Become a Psychologist

Psychologist Salaries

Finding an Accredited Psychology School

Different Psychology Degrees

Choosing a Psychology Career Track or Specialty

Psychology Licensure Requirements by State


There are four common steps to become a psychologist: earning a bachelor’s degree, obtaining an advanced psychology degree (i.e., a master’s, doctorate or both) from an accredited program, completing at least a one-year internship or postdoctoral program to gain experience working with patients, and obtaining a license, which includes passing a test on foundational knowledge. All together, the path to becoming a licensed psychologist can take up to eight years.

1. The first step to becoming a psychologist is to earn a bachelor’s degree.

It can be in any subject, but it may be worth considering a major that lends itself to a career in psychology, such as social work, psychology or sociology.

2. Earn a master’s and/or doctorate in psychology.

Depending on where you intend to practice and the specific concentration you are interested in (e.g., child psychology, social work, marriage and family therapy), you may be able to pursue a psychology license after earning a master’s degree, either a Master of Arts or a Master of Science. If you must pursue a doctoral degree, you will choose between a PsyD, a practical degree for would-be counselors; a PhD, which is more research-oriented; an EdD, or Doctor of Education; and an EdS, or education specialist. Check your state requirements and consider your career goals to determine which degree is right for you.

3. Complete an internship or postdoctoral program.

After you complete a psychology master’s or doctoral program, you must complete an internship or postdoctoral program. This required psychology internship gives you an opportunity to work alongside licensed psychologists to gain hands-on training in your field of interest. Most states require 1,500 to 2,000 hours of training and at least one to two years of supervised professional experience, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

4. Obtain a psychology license.

The licensing requirements for psychologists vary per state. Contact your state board to understand your state’s requirements. Various state board information can be found at the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) website. Once you’ve met the necessary education and professional requirements, you’ll need to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology, which is administered by the ASPPB.

A career as a psychologist is one in which you have direct impact on the mental health and well-being of others. There are many career options in the field of psychology that will allow you to pursue work that you find rewarding whether that is working with children, people with developmental disabilities or older adults, or focusing on research, assessments, teaching and systems design. In addition, job prospects for psychologists are strong, and the median salary was more than $81,040 in May 2021, as per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Psychologists work in a variety of settings, including:

  • Universities or four-year colleges
  • Other schools (e.g., high schools, elementary schools)
  • Medical schools
  • Independent practices
  • Hospitals or other health services
  • Government or Veterans Association medical centers
  • Businesses or nonprofits

The median pay for psychologists was $81,040 per year in 2021, according to the BLS. The lowest-paid psychologists made $47,850 or less while the highest-paid psychologists made more than $133,890. The best-paid psychologists are found in government with a median income of $103,850,  followed by hospitals ($99,330) and ambulatory health care services ($83,770).

Psychology Career and Job Growth 

The BLS indicates that the demand for psychologists is projected to grow 8% from 2020 to 2030. Schools, hospitals, social service agencies and mental health centers are all facing increasing need for counselors. Psychologists are also needed to help individuals cope with life and career transitions, provide services to people who are aging, and support veterans and other people who have experienced trauma. Schools also need more counselors to support student mental health and provide services to students with autism.

Psychology undergraduate and graduate programs are available online or in-person across the country. While the American Psychological Association (APA) only accredits doctoral programs, it does provide standards and guidelines for evaluating various psychology programs, which can be used to guide your decisions. To find an APA-accredited doctoral psychology program, as well as accredited internships and postdoctoral programs, you can search the APA online database.

Psychology Degrees and Studies Online

There are many online psychology programs. Some undergraduate degrees in psychology can be obtained through an online program at many colleges and universities. Advanced degree programs in psychology are also offered online.

There are a number of advantages to earning an online master’s degree in psychology. Students benefit from the same courses and instruction as their counterparts on campus without the time and expense of traveling, and they have access to online support and can follow online lessons at their own pace. Working professionals enjoy greater flexibility in pursuing their degrees, and for programs with a clinical requirement, those hours can typically be fulfilled close to where a student lives.

Advanced degrees in psychology begin with a master’s degree in psychology, which can be concentrated in an area aligned with your career goals (e.g. industrial and organizational psychology, applied behavior analysis, and marriage and family counseling). The master’s degree in psychology—either a Master of Arts or a Master of Science—may be followed by a doctoral degree. The four doctoral degrees for psychology include a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), a Doctor of Education (EdD), an Education Specialist (EdS) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

Master’s Degree in Psychology

A Master of Arts (MA) in psychology is typically focused on theory, assessment and intervention and is geared toward students who want to become counselors, social workers and psychologists. A Master of Science (MS) degree in psychology places a greater emphasis on research and statistics. Even an online master’s degree in psychology may require some amount of in-person clinical coursework. Job opportunities for those with a master’s degree in psychology might include industrial–organizational psychologists, psychological assistants and more. A master’s degree in psychology typically takes two years to complete. Some states allow individuals with a master’s degree to obtain a license to practice as a psychologist, but it’s important to check each state’s requirements.

PhD in Psychology

A PhD in psychology is considered the most common advanced psychology degree and involves scientific research, including data collection and statistical information, as well as requiring a dissertation to show research knowledge. It can take five to seven years to complete a PhD in psychology. Career options for those with a PhD in psychology include business consultant, researcher, faculty member, health service administrator and counselor.

PsyD in Psychology

The Doctor of Psychology degree is designed for students more interested in providing counseling services than focusing on research. PsyD psychology programs focus more on clinical work than PhD programs, and the program takes four to six years to complete. Career options for those with a PsyD degree involve roles working directly with people in need as a counselor or therapist.

EdD in Psychology

The EdD in Psychology is a psychology degree granted by a college of education and allows students to develop skills and knowledge to improve outcomes in school systems. Career options for someone with an EdD psychology degree include education administrator, chief academic officer, survey researcher and community service manager.

EdS in Psychology

The Educational Specialist in School Psychology degree trains students in skills needed to work with children and families within school systems. You’ll learn skills like evidence-based interventions, consultation, assessment and evaluation. The program typically lasts three years.

There are a wide variety of career paths available to those with a psychology degree—and these careers differ in terms of the degree they require (e.g., MA vs. PhD), the clientele they serve (e.g., children and families vs. healthcare professionals) and the kind of work they do (e.g., primarily research vs. primarily practitioners). Interest in a particular field or concentration can help guide your psychology degree considerations. The range of psychology specialties include clinical psychologists, community psychologists, counseling psychologists, developmental psychologists, environmental psychologists, forensic psychologists, health psychologists, rehabilitation psychologists, school psychologists and social psychologists.

Counseling vs. Clinical Psychology

Counseling psychologists work with people of all ages to help them recognize their strengths and abilities to cope with stress and adversity. They work in many settings, including college counseling centers, academic teaching roles, independent practice, health care settings and hospitals.

Both counseling and clinical psychologists use psychotherapy to treat patients, but counseling psychologists focus more broadly on well-being across a person’s lifespan. Clinical psychologists are more focused on clients who have mental illness by assessing and treating mental, emotional and behavioral disorders for people of all ages.

What Education Is Needed to Become a Counseling Psychologist?

To become a counseling psychologist requires a doctoral degree which takes four to six years to complete beyond the bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Programs of study for counseling psychologists focus on core psychology courses and specialized instruction, such as theories of counseling and human lifespan development. Part of the counseling psychologist degree program will include an internship that provides hands-on counseling experience with a licensed professional.

What Education Is Needed to Become a Clinical Psychologist?

To become a clinical psychologist, you’ll need a doctoral-level degree, either a PhD or a PsyD. Most clinical psychologist doctoral programs will require five to seven years of study to complete beyond the bachelor’s and master’s degrees. There are many specialty areas within the field that can serve as a focus for your studies, including mental, emotional and behavioral disorders.

Non-Psychology Counseling Career Paths

A number of counseling careers do not require a psychology degree. These include becoming a career counselor who helps people to reach their career goals and requires a master’s in counseling and an internship experience, and a substance abuse counselor who helps clients develop the skills to recover from addiction, a career that requires a master’s in substance abuse/addiction counseling and internship.

A licensed social worker helps provide services to underprivileged communities and works within school systems, nonprofits and health care systems. Becoming a licensed social worker requires a bachelor’s degree in a related field and a master’s degree in social work.

Marriage and Family Therapy

Marriage and family therapists help couples, families and individuals who need solve interpersonal problems, using psychotherapy to improve clients’ relationships, coping mechanisms and overall well-being. Becoming a marriage and family therapist typically requires a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and 2,000–4,000 approved clinical hours in order to obtain a license.

Psychologist vs. Psychiatrist

Psychologists and psychiatrists both treat patients with mental health issues using psychotherapy. But psychiatrists are Doctors of Medicine (MDs) who must complete medical school because psychiatry is considered a physician specialty.  Typically, MDs will complete an internship prior to residency and before they enter the real world to practice as a psychiatrist. Psychiatrists can prescribe medication to patients. Psychologists generally must complete a doctoral degree and one to two years of an internship before practicing and do not typically prescribe drugs but work alongside other health professionals who do.

School Psychologist

School psychologists provide counseling to school children and also consult with staff and parents to guide children and adolescents’ positive mental, emotional and behavioral development. Although a school psychologist and school counselor are similar in their education requirements, there are distinct differences between the two careers. To become a school psychologist requires a bachelor’s and master’s degree and an accredited graduate program to earn a PhD or EdS. You’ll also need to complete at least 1,200 hours gaining hands-on experience at a supervised internship.


Psychoanalysts are like psychologists in that they use psychotherapy to treat patients and do not prescribe medications. Founded by Sigmund Freud, the definition of psychoanalysis is “a method of analyzing psychic phenomena and treating emotional disorders that involves treatment sessions during which the patient is encouraged to talk freely about personal experiences and especially about early childhood and dreams.” The term “psychoanalyst” is not protected by state or federal law, but there are institutes offering credentials that are accredited through the American Psychoanalytic Association.

Developmental Psychologist

Developmental psychologists study how people grow and develop throughout life. This career is increasingly moving toward a focus on childhood and adolescence to working with older adults in staying mentally active into their later years. They work in research and teaching in academic settings and also on assessment, evaluation and treatment in health care and nursing home facilities. To become a developmental psychologist, you must earn a doctoral degree.

Behavioral Analysts

Behavioral analysts work with people to understand and improve behaviors using applied behavior analysis, which can be applied to individuals and organizations. Specialty behavior analysis areas include pediatrics, autism, gerontology, education and sports. You can become a behavior analyst with an online master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) followed by a graduate-level Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) certification.

Environmental Psychologist

Environmental psychologists study the way human behavior intersects with a person’s environment, both on a personal level (social groups) and more broadly (within a person’s culture, city and the planet at large). They study how various environments—urban, suburban, rural—and major environmental issues, such as climate change, affect behavior and human well-being and help in planning environments that encourage positive growth. To become an environmental psychologist, you must earn a doctoral degree.

Licensure requirements for psychologists includes meeting specific standards in three key areas: education, examination and supervised experience. Most states require a doctoral degree in psychology to receive a license but about half have a category that allows someone to practice psychology with a master’s degree (often called a psychological associate) if they are under the supervision of a doctorate-level licensed psychologist, according to the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards. Most U.S. states require you to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) in order to be a licensed psychologist. Find out what your state requirements are by contacting your preferred school’s office of admissions. Others require a jurisprudence examination and/or an oral exam in addition to the EPPP. In order to receive a license, it is almost always required that you have successfully completed at least a one-year internship and at least a one-year postdoctoral program. To better understand a specific state’s licensing requirements for psychologists, consult the PSYBook from the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards.

How long does it take to become a psychologist?

To become a psychologist with a master’s degree requires four years of an undergraduate degree and another two years to complete a master’s degree. To become a psychologist with a doctorate degree, which is typically necessary to receive a license, requires an additional four to six years beyond the master’s for a PsyD or an additional five to seven years beyond the master’s for a PhD.

What courses are required to earn a master’s degree in psychology?

Courses needed for a master’s degree in psychology include theoretical psychology, developmental psychology, ethics and psychology, research, and communication.

What courses are required to earn a doctoral degree in psychology?

Courses needed for a doctoral degree in psychology might include psychopathology, developmental disabilities, basic emotional processes, prevention and intervention, and quantitative analysis.

What are the best undergraduate majors for psychologists?

Undergraduate majors that lend themselves well to higher psychology degrees and specialized pursuits of study within psychology include psychology, biology, neuroscience, education, social work and sociology.

Which states have the most licensed psychologists?

California (16,900), New York (13,470) and Massachusetts (5,660) are the states with the most licensed psychologists. The states with the fewest licensed psychologists are South Dakota (160), Wyoming (170) and Alaska (170).

Last Updated April 2022

How to Become a Health Psychologist: Education & Requirements

Health psychology explores the intersection of the body and the mind, focusing on the impact that psychological health has on physical well-being. It is a clinical psychological specialty, with a body of practice and research to promote health, prevent illnesses and improve health care delivery systems. There are career possibilities with a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree and at the doctoral degree level. 

Like many medical and science professions, there’s an academic path to follow to become a health psychologist, but not everyone’s journey is the same. Below are five common steps to start a career in health psychology. 

Step 1: Bachelor’s degree in psychology

A bachelor’s degree is the foundation for a career in health psychology. A bachelor’s degree in health psychology may be listed as a clinical health psychology program or offered as an area of concentration in a general psychology curriculum.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree are eligible for positions such as a community health education specialist or an occupational health specialist or in research-based jobs. Or, you could put your psychology skills to work in many industries that benefit from understanding how people think, such as education, communications or sales.

If you’d like to make psychology your career, a master’s degree is necessary to work at the professional level.

Step 2: Master’s degree in psychology

A master’s degree in psychology typically requires two years of graduate-level coursework. Master’s programs include a practicum to build clinical skills. You can take advantage of online psychology master’s degree programs to fit your lifestyle and budget. Online degree programs also include internship or practicum hours to meet state licensing board requirements.

Depending on the state, master’s-level professionals work in clinical, counseling and school psychology as therapists, counselors and other mental health clinicians. There are opportunities to put the degree to work in human resources, advertising or market research. Some professionals work for state, local and federal agencies in criminal justice, social services and employment counseling.

In clinical psychology, there are typically two options, Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees. Either one may be available with an emphasis on health psychology as a specialty area. An MA degree is geared toward students who want to work in client care with a foundation built on liberal arts and humanitarian studies. An MS degree has a focus on research and statistical science for those seeking a career in research or academic writing.

Practicing independently as a health psychologist requires completing a health psychology doctorate program as well as an internship and licensing exam.

Step 3: Doctorate in psychology

Depending on your career interests, there are several doctoral degree options: Ph.D., PsyD and EdD. A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is a more research-focused course of study. A Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) is aimed at those who want to work in a clinical setting (to learn more, see our article on the differences between Ph.D. in Psychology and PsyD). An EdD is a doctorate in education, granted by a psychology department that is part of a college of education at a university. It’s a degree for those who may want to practice in a clinical or educational setting. Earning a doctorate in psychology typically requires five to seven years of study, including coursework, research, writing and defending a dissertation for the Ph.D. program.

Step 4: Licensure

A health psychologist, like any clinical psychologist, must become licensed through the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) to practice in the state where they live. To gain licensure, students must pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology administered by the ASPPB. Also, students must complete 1,500-6,000 practicum hours, depending on the state. Requirements may change; make sure to confirm the requirements with the state in which you intend to practice.

Step 5: Board certification in clinical health psychology

After obtaining licensure, Ph.D. holders may also obtain board certification in clinical health psychology through the American Board of Professional Psychology. Board certification is becoming a valued credential that sets a psychologist apart from other practitioners. It’s especially valued for those working in direct patient care. This effort includes working in a postdoctoral internship in the health psychology specialty for one to two years.

Health psychology postdoctoral practice experience

To be certified as a clinical health psychologist, the American Board of Professional Psychology requires preparation beyond the doctoral requirements.

Certification after one postdoctoral year upon successful completion of at least one year of an APA/CPA accredited Clinical Health Psychology postdoctoral fellowship OR certification after two postdoctoral years upon successful completion of either:

Source: American Board of Professional Psychology

Health psychology is a clinical specialty that examines how biological, social and psychological factors influence health and illness.

Definition of health psychology

Health psychology explores the motivations behind health-related behaviors and studies the factors that help people cope with a chronic condition, recover from an illness or change their behavior to improve their health.

Health psychologists were involved with research that revealed the health impact of lead exposure for children. They have studied how to help people quit smoking and improve their diets. The discipline explores the connection between our behavior and our health. By looking at how patients manage illness successfully, they can prepare other patients to manage stress and pain. One of the common questions is why people don’t follow medical advice to improve their health, such as better eating habits. A key focus of the work is examining the consequences between people’s emotions and behavior and its impact on their health.

The field involves knowledge of the impact that learning, memory, perception, cognition and motivation influence health behaviors have on mental and physical illness and injury.

A clinical psychologist may be involved with treatments and research for:

Why do we need health psychologists?

Health psychologists help us understand fundamental questions about our minds and bodies and devise treatments to promote health and prevent illnesses. They conduct research into why people ignore sound advice and continue bad habits. They look at the effects of stress on people’s health.

By undertaking research, health psychologists can develop health care strategies that promote physical and emotional well-being. Their work can help reduce health care costs and guide medical and social policy. They also work one-on-one with patients to follow a treatment regimen or understand a diagnosis.

Clinical health psychology integrates psychological, social, cultural and biological factors to prevent, treat and manage illnesses and disabilities. Practice for a health psychologist will occur in an array of settings. Duties may include:

Health psychologists work with individuals and groups of people to help them change behaviors that have adverse effects on their physical health. Also, they work with individuals and teams to reduce stress and improve performance, such as athletes, performers and business executives.

They may consult with education administrators to guide school reform, and advise attorneys on selecting a jury. After a traumatic incident, psychologists help survivors recover more quickly. They work with at-risk populations to examine problems such as poverty, homelessness and violence.

Psychologists in private practice work independently and set their own hours. Those employed in hospitals or other clinical settings may work evenings and weekends to meet clients. Those in government, industry and university settings typically work during business hours.

Where do health psychologists work?

Health psychologists are vital contributors in a variety of settings as educators, facilitators as well as direct clinical practice and research.

Each state sets the requirements to be a licensed health psychologist. While specific requirements may vary, most state psychology boards require a candidate to hold a doctoral degree in psychology. Make sure to confirm requirements with the state in which you intend to practice.

The requirements also include a minimum number of practice hours overseen by an appropriately licensed supervisor. The practice hours are usually completed during or immediately following the doctoral degree program. Experts advise students to start planning their licensure during the second year of their doctoral program to understand the requirements for the states where they would like to practice. Because there are differences in the supervised practice hours, students should structure their supervised hours accordingly.

Education: Doctoral degree in psychology from an accredited institution.

Documentation: Record clinical experiences in internship and postdoctoral stages and coursework.

Testing: Candidates in the U.S. and Canada must pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology developed by ASPPB. Each state sets passing grades, but it’s usually at least 70%. Some states may require a competency-based oral exam or a test of laws and ethics.

Clinical hours: Expect to accrue 2,000 supervised clinical hours during the internship and 2,000 hours during the post-doc phase. The requirements vary by jurisdiction; for example, some states require 3,000 hours while others set the standard at 6,000 hours.

Clinical health psychologists can also become board certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2021 data on psychologists, the top 10% of psychologists earn more than $133,890, while the bottom 10% earned less than $47,850. For all psychologists, the median annual income was $81,040.

Employment for psychologists is expected to grow in response to demand for services in schools, social service agencies, mental health agencies and hospitals. As people seek help to deal with aging, trauma and conditions such as autism, psychologists will have new opportunities in clinical, counseling and school psychology positions.

Job openings for all psychologists are expected to grow 8% through 2030, faster than the average rate for all jobs according to the BLS.


Psychologists are doctorate-level professionals who study human behavior and therapeutic approaches. A psychologist can specialize in a variety of areas. Some are research-based, while others focus on clinical interaction. Pursue your interests in brain science, environmental, organizational, counseling, forensic or developmental psychology. As a psychologist, you can help individuals with mental and behavioral disorders maintain or improve their well-being.

Applied Behavior Analyst

Behavior analysts work with clients to develop appropriate treatment plans to decrease unwanted behaviors and emphasize desirable behaviors. While many behavior analysts assist clients with Autism Spectrum Disorder, they also will work as occupational therapy assistants, drug and alcohol counselors and psychological assistants. They typically work with educators, medical professionals and family members to provide treatment for clients.

Social workers provide essential services to disadvantaged groups to improve their situations. A master’s in social work is required to become a licensed social worker. To work directly with clients in a therapeutic setting, graduates must obtain an additional license, licensed clinical social worker. This level requires hours of supervised clinical work after completion of the master’s program. Due to the demand for social workers mentioned above, online classes make it easy for students to juggle demands on their time while completing the online MSW program.

Marriage and Family Therapist 

An MFT degree prepares students for a career as a marriage and family therapist offering professional mental health care for couples, families and individuals. In addition to direct counseling, a therapist may also be involved in case management, insurance utilization reviews, community education and support with other healthcare providers. Requirements for the number and types of hours students must accrue will vary by the state.

Mental Health Counselor

A degree in mental health counseling prepares students to become a mental health counselor to meet the mental, emotional and behavioral needs of different populations. Even with an online degree, in-person clinical experiences are a vital component of the course. To practice, students must obtain counseling licensure under the regulations in the state where they live. After sitting for the licensing exam, students can apply for licensure. Then, students can also seek accreditation with professional organizations to reflect their commitment to meeting career standards.

How long does it take to become a health psychologist?

To become a licensed clinical health psychologist with a doctoral degree, expect to spend eight to 10 years in school and field experience.

Why study health psychology?

Health psychologists help people improve their mental and physical health by examining underlying behaviors and attitudes. You could work in clinical practice, helping clients deal with mental and physical health issues, or conduct research to better understand people’s actions in relation to their health.

How much do health psychologists make?

Average earnings for a clinical psychologist was $79,510 per year in 2021 according to the BLS.

Which degree do you need to become a health psychologist?

You will need to earn a doctoral degree—a Ph.D., PsyD or EdD—to become a health psychologist.

What do you learn in health psychology?

Health psychology curriculum includes courses in psychological theory and practice, stress and coping mechanisms, and promotion of healthy behaviors.

What is community health psychology?

Psychologists study mental and physical illnesses that occur in various communities and seek potential causes for patterns and how they impact an individual’s health.

What does health psychology focus on?

The clinical discipline of health psychology focuses on the relationship between psychological health and behavior and the impact on physical wellness in communities and individuals.

Last updated: May 2022

Algorithm of success: 5 steps on the way to the result

I want to learn how to drive a car for 3 years, but I still ride the subway. I have been dreaming of a new profession for 5 years now, but I have to go to an unloved job, the result of which I do not see. I know what I want, but I'm wasting my time, procrastinating, and losing confidence out of the blue. Each success and failure largely depends on what goals we set for ourselves and what actions we take on the way to them.

"Feed your mind with great thoughts, because you can never rise higher than you think" - the words of Benjamin Disraeli, 42nd Prime Minister of Great Britain. And they very accurately reflect the real state of affairs. In childhood, a person develops one of the most important psychological mechanisms - “I can”. There are parents who were able to correctly explain to the child: in this world there are no big and small goals, there is only a large or small amount of energy that you will spend on the realization of each individual one.

But, unfortunately, society is not ideal, and in most cases people, only as adults, begin to work on the problems of goal setting. When we talk about a goal, always think about how specific, measurable and harmonious it is in relation to you and your life. For a quick analysis, use the algorithm:

1. "Where am I now." At this point, we must realize how far our goal is, what we have at the start. ⁣⁣⠀

2. “What I want.” At this stage, you need to see a specific result, what you want to achieve. That is, if your goal is to lose weight, then at the point “what I want” you must indicate the specific weight that you are striving for. If you want to earn more, there should be a specific figure, how much you should earn per day and per hour in order to reach your goal. If the goal is not material and intangible, for example, to become more confident, then the result will be a state - a feeling of confidence.

⁣⁣3. "Unconditional faith in the result. " Here, trust in the world and faith in oneself are intertwined. It is important to remember all your achievements, even small ones, gifts of fate that you once had. ⁣⁣⠀

4. "Actions". Evaluate everything you can do to achieve what you want, step by step. It is very good if the actions are aimed at ensuring that reality matches the goal. You must visualize as much as possible the reality in which the goal is achieved. If it is material, for example, you want to buy a car, find out its exact cost, take the time to go to a car dealership and look at it, sign up for a test drive. So the goal will become part of reality and it will be easier for you to achieve it. ⁣⁣⠀

5. "Result". It is closely related to will and effort. Don't be afraid to give yourself some time to analyze the path to the goal and understand what steps helped you, what hindered you, whether you like what you have achieved. Remember that every day a person sets hundreds of goals for himself, and every day he goes through a new section of a long path to self-improvement.

Psychologist for yourself: 12 steps to the freedom of the soul0003

While you wait patiently for someone to do something, after which everything will somehow miraculously work out, disappointments will repeat again and again.

The main goal of a psychologist is to become, perhaps, the first "warm adult" who will help to gain confidence and strength, determination and will. Look at your life in an adult way - without childish resentment and expectations. Without excuses and other people's suggestions. To honestly, consciously, sincerely answer the key questions of life: who am I? What do I want? How and when do I want? How can I give it to myself?

You still have to take the first step yourself. Admit it to yourself and you will be halfway closer to your desired goal. I offer you 12 steps of self-therapy - an algorithm that will help you "recover yourself."

1. What are we made of?

Environment, culture, mentality, our family are all ingredients of our life. Sometimes the composition needs to be read, remembered. Take a larger piece of paper, put a dot in the center and start drawing your tree: tribal habits, character, illnesses, relationships between relatives, ways of their self-realization. Having collected all the data together, you will see similar fates, fatal deeds, common features. For many, this “layout” can be a serious clue.

2. Always yes!

Having realized the peculiarities of the family tree, the attitudes put in by the “seniors”, you will be able to understand how much the “no” and “yes” said by your relatives corresponded to your inner convictions, corresponded to true desires. You've grown up - that's great news. Now "children's" dreams and desires can come true - it is enough to make an effort.

Keep a special "diary of desires", record all requests and fantasies in it. Even the most daring or "frivolous". Allow yourself to live - there will be no second chance. Maximum realization and satisfaction with life often go hand in hand with the most contradictory, opposite qualities. For example, a childish love for a trampoline and building a PR strategy, a passion for giving gifts and the ability to save money wisely.

3. "General cleaning"

We regularly sort out wardrobes, dispose of old things, but from year to year we drag along an environment that has long outgrown. Take courage and appreciate those around you. How much joy does this relationship bring you, how much development, how much resource?

How often do you hush up your true feelings next to them, suppress the desire to be yourself, smooth the corners and always feel like something “not like that”? The problem of modern people is not in gadgets, the economic crisis and the lack of likes. It is much more important that we do not know how to make a choice, put an end to it, give up small things for the sake of the true freedom of our “I”.

4. Self-acceptance - daily and completely

Do you like looking in the mirror? Catching your own reflection with a satisfied look? It's time to study. Recognize your folds, wrinkles, curves - fall in love with them or decide to visit the gym, dance, beauty salon. Enter any physical activity into your daily “diet”, proportionally reduce your sugar intake.

You can bargain with yourself for one morning candy or a piece of cake, but this prank must be justified by an additional walk around the house. Deep respect for oneself begins with objective external actions, steps and manifestations.

5. You are you

Get yourself a special piggy bank. For each comparison of yourself with someone, send a comfortable amount into it - enough to remember, but not go into the red. Believe me, this is an effective way to fight off the imposed desire not to be yourself. Funds raised can be donated to charitable causes.

6. Time for myself

One and a half hours a day. More is possible, less is not. It does not matter what you will do with this time: drawing, dancing, lectures, books, favorite films. Most importantly, it must be yours. Spend it alone with yourself - learn to give yourself what you want and consciously enjoy freedom. This is the main principle of happiness.

7. “The habit has been given to us from above!”

We get used to living in a rut. Convenient solutions, familiar dishes, trusted establishments. For laziness, called the illusion of security, we pay with excitement, novelty and freedom. Every day, let something new into your life: vivid images, unread books, atmospheric cafes, fusion dishes, creative ideas. new selves.

Change scents, colors, hair lengths, whatever you want. Remove dreary motifs from the playlist, take off the usual gray cocoon dresses. Transformation inside is necessarily accompanied by external changes. Color therapy, aromatherapy, music therapy - simple and affordable magic that can charge your battery 100% in a couple of hours.

8. Shall we reflect?

In the desire to become a part of something big, strong, we sometimes forget that we are not alone inside. In each of us live bright, interesting, controversial personalities of different ages. By recognizing them and getting to know each of your “subpersonalities”, you will learn to recognize the cause of mood swings, independently steer out of the abyss of emotions and a flurry of passions.

You will always understand who is the "first violin" at this moment. Your offended childish part, the parental "critic", a tired adult, or a couple of other authorities. The ability to ask yourself simple questions about the origin of fears, the causes of tears, resentments, doubts and anxieties is a great achievement on the path to freedom.

9. The art of love

If there were no warm relations in the family, if you grew up in an atmosphere of coldness and anxiety, control and criticism, then love is an incomprehensible value for you. It is possible and necessary to learn to love, to understand, to enter into a position. Do not isolate yourself at the first conflict, but do not take all the blame on yourself. Not to sacrifice yourself, but also to be able to compromise, even give up something for the sake of your loved ones - this is an art, the price of which is happiness.

We ourselves regulate our lives. That is why "late" or "early" is a human illusion created for self-restraint

10. Big mistakes - big achievements

The magic of big numbers always works. How many great discoveries started with great mistakes. We don't know the future! But we selflessly give up our present feeling of guilt for the past. Release yourself. Say "Enough!"

One day, take courage and write down on a sheet of paper all those mistakes, actions, your own laws that you (as it seems to you) have violated. Now give yourself an amnesty. Write an indulgence. Open the cage and boldly take a step.

11. Time came up with… man!

Seconds, hours, years… Who created them? Who measured the length? Man invented the calendar, it was his mind that created the periods and stages. We regulate our own lives. That is why "late" or "early" is a human illusion created for self-restraint.

The history of ups and downs knows no time. Talent has no expiration date. Realizing this, feel free to throw out your favorite excuses - get your favorite “inappropriate” clothes, open your own business, fall in love again, go dancing. Live forever young because that's what it is.

12. Youth comes with experience

Yes, psychology is an incredibly young science. Over the past century, we have made a huge leap to become closer to ourselves and to each other. Who helped humanity before the psi-epoch? Religion, philosophy, art, music, dance, painting, travel - they became a support for many.

The birth of psychology does not at all cancel the principles of the rebirth of the soul. Contemplate the beautiful, realize the true state of things, accept your own possibilities. Life is for happiness. It starts now, so power yourself up to the fullest.

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