Business psychologists are members of the healthcare profession who study, assess and treat those experiencing difficulties in their work life. Allied health professionals such as occupational therapists and counselors may also be involved with assessment and diagnosis, or may provide counseling as part of treatment.
Psychologists are qualified to assess clients across a range of presenting difficulties including anxiety, depression, stress, adjustment disorders, substance abuse disorders and personality disorders. They also have expertise in dealing with workplace issues such as job analysis.
This article will give an introduction on what business psychologists are about at the start with more information for people who want to read more on this topic later down the page.
The business psychologist’s role may include the following:
In order to become a business psychologist one needs to undergo specialized training in business psychology such as a Masters of Psychology or postgraduate diploma or doctorate qualification in the field. This is followed by ongoing professional development and supervised clinical experience. In some countries, training is done via an apprenticeship model, conducted in conjunction with industry employers and overseen by an experienced supervisor.
Business psychologists typically gather data through psychological testing, observation and structured interviews. The most common instruments used are surveys (occupational assessments), biographical interviews and projective techniques (Rorschach Inkblot Test).
In the UK, most business psychologists are members of the British Psychological Society (BPS). In Australia, business psychologists subscribe to the Australian Psychology Society (APS). The American Psychological Association provides oversight for practicing and training professional psychologists in the U.S.A.. There are also a number of national psychology professional bodies in Europe that oversee their country’s practice; however, it is worth noting that there is no international governing body for Business Psychology. In addition to the APS, other major professional organizations include:
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is a major U.S. organizational psychology organization, and American Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology (ASIOP).
Psychologists are armed with a broad range of research methods and knowledge in the areas of cognitive psychology, social psychology, human performance and organizational behavior. They draw on these disciplines to help identify causes of workplace problems such as poor performance and indecision. In addition to conducting formal assessments, psychologists may also participate in group activities with their clients as well as assist them in problem solving. The opportunity to help clients articulate their problems effectively provides each client with increased understanding and control over the situation.
Business psychologists may help individuals improve the quality of their performance, prevent problems, or resolve issues that arise in an organization or workplace.
One of the most important services a business psychologist can provide is helping employees cope with work-related stress. Stress at work can have a serious impact on mental and physical health. There are many ways through which a business psychologist may be able to assist an employee. Business psychologists can offer counseling for employees dealing with depression and anxiety, as well as self-improvement skills such as goal-setting, time management and self-confidence building.
In order for a business psychologist to effectively assist the needs of an individual, it is imperative that the psychologist have access to all relevant information regarding the problems of the client. Business psychologists will gather information from both the individual as well as from their colleagues and supervisors. This process may involve interviews and observations in order to evaluate a worker’s work performance thereby enabling a business psychologist to determine whether or not any work may need to be adapted in order for them to maintain their current productivity levels. The therapist may also use this opportunity to communicate with the individual directly during counseling sessions in an effort to develop effective solutions and techniques in order to solve any underlying problems.
The business psychologist is a vital part of the healthcare industry and their skills should be utilized in order to bring about change for the benefit of all.