Working as a psychologist can be one of the most fulfilling careers you can pursue. With a job centered on understanding and helping people, it’s perfect for those who demonstrate empathy, emotional intelligence and a strong duty of care. Despite its unique qualities, it also shares many similarities with just about any other job in any other sector. One such similarity is the need for and value of professional development (PD).
Why should a psychologist go to find online psychology professional development workshops? What do these and other PD — also known as Continuing Professional Development (CPD) events have to offer those in the psychology professions?
PD Updates You on the Latest Knowledge
As with any other industry-specific professional development, psychologists who attend their PD events are furnished with the latest knowledge and practices that have been developed within their field. Psychology in particular, as one that has connections with medical practices, is one that is constantly evolving and learning new things. It’s crucial that practicing psychologists of all kinds stay up to date with what’s going on in their field, and PD is a great way to do it.
PD Connects You With Your Peers
A professional development workshop is not a formal networking event, but it’s a terrific opportunity to connect with one’s peers, and that applies to psychologists. People operating either as a solo practitioner or within a bigger operation can often get too buried in their own work and their own professional worlds that they forget about the whole world of psychologists out there, all of whom are working towards that same common goal — figuring out how to better understand and aid the human mental condition.
PD Makes You a Better Practitioner
If you’re a psychologist working directly with patients, then furthering your professional development becomes both a responsible and practical thing to do in order to make yourself the most knowledgeable, up-to-date and relevant psychological professional that you can be. The skills and knowledge you can pick up during formal PD courses, as well as through directed PD activities, can transfer directly into your daily practice, or at the very least inspire innovations of your own to make your practice better for your patients. Continuing your education through PD is a recognized trait of a truly good psychologist.
PD Creates New Career Opportunities
If you’re an ambitious psychologist with plans of reaching the very top of your field, then attending PD is an important step in that process. It’s not just about learning the skill and knowledge that come from the PD activities themselves, but also about learning how to lead and conduct PD for others. Professional development seminars, workshops, courses and other activities are invariably led by people who are considered to be experts in their chosen field. That being so, a good way of measuring whether or not you’re advancing your career is to see if you can be invited by others to lead PD, and/or create PD in which others wish to take part.
The specific skills you learn are also incredibly valuable for those psychologists who wish to become department heads, research specialists, educators of psychology, and so on. PD is an important force in personal advancement.
PD is a Responsibility for Good Psychologists
Finally, as people who operate in a position of trust within their respective communities, psychologists have a duty to develop themselves and become the very best version of their working selves. Stagnation in the field of psychology isn’t just something that’s bad for the bottom line like it is in many businesses, but it can also bring bad news to the mental health of potentially millions of people.