How do you work in a psychologically untraditional field?

Student thesis: Master Thesis and HD Thesis

  • Manja Bøgelund Emtkjær
4. term, Psychology, Master (Master Programme)
The present study is founded in an interest about what it is like to be a new psychologist working in a field, where there are not many psychologists employed. It does so with the research question:

How do newly qualified psychologists experience transitioning into the labor market, especially when working in fields that are not associated with PPR or clinical psychological work?

The study takes a phenomenological approach and constructs a theoretical framework building mainly on Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus and Banduras concept of self-efficacy in order to understand and interpret the empirical data gained from video interviews with four newly qualified psychologists. It uses a semi-structured interview guide to interview the four psychologists, two of whom are self-employed consultants, one works with an NGO, and one works with research at a hospital. The analysis identifies four themes of interest to the research question. These are: Theme 1: Expectations for newly graduated psychologists, Theme 2: Personal and societal aspects, Theme 3: Abilities and competences, and Theme 4: Psychology in a new context. These four themes serve as the foundation for the discussion, where two prominent features from the themes are held against the theoretical framework of the thesis with the research question in mind. Additionally, the methodologies of the thesis are discussed and evaluated in accordance with the three quality criteria: generalisation, reliability and validity.
Conclusively, the study finds that the participants experience transitioning to and working in a psychologically untraditional field as immensely rewarding but hard earned on account of the need to create their own network of support for the psychological aspects of their job. All participants exhibit a high sense of self-efficacy and a large passion for the job content, which render them more resilient and more able to thrive in their respective job positions. Thus, this study finally suggests that entering a psychologically untraditional field might require a certain ability to endure a lack of traditional support and a strong passion for the goals you set up for yourselves or the ability to develop these skills along the way. Any which way, these four psychologists not only create a meaningful working life of their own, they also break new land for the psychological profession as such. It is indeed possible to apply the psychological competences acquired at the university in new settings.
Publication date3 Aug 2020
Number of pages71
ID: 337865332