Do you want to work in the world of psychology? Are you intrigued by this career path, but you have been unable to narrow your focus in order to pursue your dreams? Are you looking for an area that is exciting and will fulfill you professionally? If you haven’t considered the area of international psychology, then now is the time!
International psychology, also referred to as global psychology or cross-cultural psychology, is a branch of psychology that has recently been developed and is emerging in our society. Although these terms are often used interchangeably there are slight differences between these psychological areas. It is important for you to understand that the term international refers to across the nations and between the nations, while global means worldwide, and while cross-cultural is used to refer to across the cultures. Furthermore, you may even hear the term multicultural used in reference to this branch of psychology. This term is more often used to discuss the cultural and ethnical differences that exist within a given nation, as opposed to comparisons on a global or international level. The international psychology branch focuses on how psychology exists and functions on a worldwide level in aspects such as cross-cultural comparison, the pedagogy of psychology, networking, communicating, the practice of psychology, and scholarships.
International psychology is defined as the practice of psychology within different parts of the world. This branch of psychology encourages involvement in regional and worldwide psychology and organizations who create the policies, such as: the International Union of Psychological Science, the International Council of Psychologists, the International Association of Applied Psychology, the International Association of Cross-Cultural Psychology, and the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations, among others. In your work as an international psychologist it is likely that you will be studying the psychological processes and phenomena, micro-level interventions (such as school psychology and psychotherapy), macro-level interventions and policy making (such as reducing HIV infections using psychological research), creating shared standards of training, expansion of psychology curriculum and pedagogy, and international networking and international conferences and organizations (such as some of the organizations that were mentioned previously).
It is important to understand that there are many countries that have no regulations or ethical guidelines for their practicing international psychologists. However, since the emergence of international psychology, there has been a push to create consistent guidelines on an international level. This will ensure that all psychologists who practice on an international level are held to the same ethical and moral expectations. In addition, countries that currently have no regulations for the practice of psychology, will be easily able to adapt to the consistent guidelines that have been set. This would include countries like Japan, Singapore, Turkey, Pakistan, Poland, and Russia, among others.
Regardless of where you will be practicing psychology, it is very likely that you will still be performing the same basic functions. You will be counseling patients to help them deal with the issues that cause them to struggle, to teach them how to adjust to the difficulties of life, and how to make changes to their behavior that will benefit them long-term. Although it will be most common for you to work with patients who need long-term therapy care or interventions, you may also find yourself working with patients who are in need of short-term counseling. It is most likely that you will be working within a nursing home, a mental health clinic, a hospital, or a counseling center. In your psychological capacity, you should be prepared to work with individuals who have mental illness, as well as people who are dealing with traumatic issues or major injuries, or those who have an issue of drug addiction.