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Your guide to become a Psychologist in Malaysia

Average Salary

RM 2,500 - 3,600

Job Demand

Who is a Psychologist?

A Psychologist is one who is able to understand a person’s emotion, personality and behaviour based on in-depth study about their body language.

Thinking of being a Psychologist? This career is quite fascinating and a bit mysterious. Have you ever wondered how a Psychologist can tell everything about you? It’s neither a mystery nor a fantasy, it’s just science! and you can get into it if you want. There are two types of Psychologist: clinical and non-clinical. Just like its name, a Clinical Psychologist is one who deals with patients in hospitals or clinics while a Non-Clinical Psychologist are those who work in schools, in comp...

Thinking of being a Psychologist? This career is quite fascinating and a bit mysterious. Have you ever wondered how a Psychologist can tell everything about you? It’s neither a mystery nor a fantasy, it’s just science! and you can get into it if you want. There are two types of Psychologist: clinical and non-clinical. Just like its name, a Clinical Psychologist is one who deals with patients in hospitals or clinics while a Non-Clinical Psychologist are those who work in schools, in companies or as Human Resource Managers. About 10% of Malaysia’s population is projected to experience mental illness by 2020. The country’s population is expected to hit 35 million seven years from now. According to Malaysia’s Mental Health Advisory Council, there is currently a severe shortage of clinical Psychologist where the ratio of a Psychologist is only 1:980,000.

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The pros and cons of being a Psychologist:

Pros

You meet plenty of interesting people - those with a peculiar personality, those who have eating disorders and find out about some truly inspirational stories as well.

Satisfaction of helping others and seeing how your work has a profound impact on a person’s life.

Cons

While Non-Clinical Psychologists typically work from 9 to 5, a Clinical Psychologist might have to work in the evenings or weekends based on the appointments with their patients.

Tendency to experience emotional strain which can cause a Psychologist to be vulnerable to burnout, distress and even impairment.

What are all the responsibilities of a Psychologist ?

Assess a client’s needs

Preparing and monitoring treatment programmes for patients

Offering therapy and treatment for various mental health issues

Offering therapy and treatment for various mental health issues

Counselling the caretakers of those seeking treatment if needed

Researching various issues regarding mental health

What skills do you need to become a Psychologist?

Compassion

Different kinds of patients will come to you with different issues bothering them so as a Psychologist, you will need to be able to sympathise with them. Whether they have come to you repeatedly or it’s their first time, you need to lend them your ear and offer them words of encouragement even if you’re tired of hearing their stories over and over again.

Patience

This skill is a ‘must’. Not all patients/clients get straight to the point when talking about their problems so that’s a great time to practice patience. Some things you’ll have to do to show you care is to sit politely (not fidget around even if you’re bored), nod your head in understanding and other suitable body language based on the situation.

Emotionally Stable

This point may sound odd to some of you but it takes a mentally strong person to be able to handle others who are going through difficult times. You will also need to know how to differentiate between work and your personal life because you do not want your client’s problems to be your own.

What field(s) of study should you choose to become a Psychologist?

What are the requirements to be a Psychologist?

Psychology is a rather broad field with a wide range of career options to choose from. You can possibly start off as a School Counsellor first and then move on to the private sector under the Human Resource or Corporate Communications department. You can even be a Writer! Your job prospects are diverse and depends on what you want to specialise in.

However, if you want to be a Clinical Psychologist, you will have to undergo training first in both theory and practical and will need a doctorate degree in a psychology-related field. A Master’s Degree is able to land you a Therapy job. A Psychiatrist, on the other hand, would have to go through medical school training and then major in this field, in order to become qualified to diagnose and prescribe medication for mentally-ill patients.

What are the working hours of a Psychologist?

A Non-Clinical Psychologist typically works from 9am to 5pm but they may have to counsel patients at odd hours of the day if they receive a distress call. Similarly, a Clinical Psychologist would have to be on standby if there’s an emergency situation.  

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Who are all the top recruiters for Psychologist in Malaysia?

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