What Next – Psychology As A Career

When after six long hard years I finished my Open University degree in psychology I thought at last I can be a psychologist and do exciting things. Well that is what I thought anyway. As it happened at the time my UK businesses were going down the river (mainly thanks to the Thatcher incompetence years) and the future looked pretty bleak. I had while doing the O.U. degree took some other short courses in Stress Management and psychotherapy. So I opened a little stress clinic for private clients. This was OK too but not very fulfilling.

At the same time for several years I taught A-Level psychology at college’s through-out the Midlands. (During all this time I studied for my MSC and PhD in Denmark.) So I asked myself a serious question – why not go overseas and work -get out of sinking Britain for a while. Since those days I worked in research in South America (Ecuador), Borneo, with orang-utans, a lecture in Russia to Moscow University, talks in Poland, and many other adventures. One day in between all this back in England I applied for a post in China at a University to teach Cultural Studies and School Psychology, low and behold they wanted me. That was four years ago now.

I have since moved to another University in Wuhan, Central China and taught five courses in psychology there. In the last year I came to Shanghai, did a little English teaching to start with but then met a nice woman who was a Chinese psychologist and she introduced me to my present post. I now work for a large Chinese company as their foreign expert in psychology and counseling. I train new counselors towards their license and work as the Clinical Director of the EAP department. (Employment Assistance Program). Here we provide counseling to companies staff and management. My job is to control the marketing and the quality of service by supervising the counselors on staff.

I am a true working psychologist and while I enjoyed teaching I am more interested in actually dealing with people everyday and have over the years counseled many hundred clients myself. I still work on research and publish my papers regularly – so far this year twelve, most published world-wide.

When I look back to the years of hard-work at the O.U. and the countless papers I thank heaven I did it. My degree gained late in my 30’s released me to a new life and a new adventure everyday. A psychology degree prepares you for more than you realise, working with animals (comparative psychology) working with Human Resources (psychometrics & personality) working with clients (abnormal & health psychology) working in Social research (social psychology) and many many other areas. Something I will never regret.

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