The 411 On Psychology Specializations

counseling-groupPsychology professionals study human behavior and mental processes through interpretation, observation, and analyzing how an individual functions. Often, these professionals can determine and treat the root cause of certain mental conditions and subsequently recommend treatment and rehabilitation. Through extensive research and study, they find common patterns and symptoms treat their patients.

If psychology is a career path that would jive with your interests and strengths, there are various educational paths you could pursue to reach your professional goals.

Here are some specific tasks you may be responsible for as a criminal psychology professional:

Identifying Suspects

Sometimes, psychology professionals will be called in during an investigation to provide detectives with a psychological profile of a suspect. This can involve studying a particular individual the police have in mind to see if he meets the mental and behavioral characteristics of a perpetrator or helping investigators narrow down the range of potential suspects - age, education, upbringing, mental state, etc. As a graduate of a criminal psychology degree program, you could likely assist the overall case by doing back-end research and serving as the psychologist's right-hand person.

Courtroom Testimony

A criminal psychology professional’s chief role in the justice system is to serve as an expert during criminal litigation by demonstrating the psychological principles behind a particular case. Other responsibilities can include assisting in evaluating the mental state of a defendant and uncovering reasons why the charged individual may have been driven to commit a crime.


Criminal psychology professionals also often provide counseling to witnesses or victims of a crime, juvenille delinquents, and other at-risk individuals. They may also provide counseling to convicted criminals who are exiting a correctional facility and require assistance adjusting to a rehabilitated life in society. Early in your career, you may serve as a coordinator to set up counseling appointments; however, if you advance to pursue a Bachelor's, Master's, or Doctorate degree in Psychology, you will likely be qualified to counsel and rehabilitate patients.

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This article was transcribed by the Rasmussen College Blog team. Are you ready to take the plunge into a new, successful future? If so, learn more about our degree programs today.

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