[INFP] INFPs as psychologists

INFPs as psychologists

Hello Guest! Sign up to join the discussion below...
Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 31
Thank Tree76Thanks

This is a discussion on INFPs as psychologists within the INFP Forum - The Idealists forums, part of the NF's Temperament Forum- The Dreamers category; I'm currently in school majoring in psychology and trying to figure out which route to take after I get my ...

  1. #1
    INFP - The Idealists

    INFPs as psychologists

    I'm currently in school majoring in psychology and trying to figure out which route to take after I get my B.A. I know it's commonly said that INFPs are psychologists, but I'm curious about the interpersonal interaction part. It's the one thing that's making me hesitant to decide to do clinical work. Wouldn't talking to people all day be pretty draining? I think I would enjoy helping people understand themselves and look at their lives differently, but at the end of the day I would probably be a little worn out. I plan on having a family eventually and want to be able to devote myself to them, but if I am interacting with people all day at work I'm concerned that I won't have the energy to be emotionally present for those who matter most. I'm not an extreme introvert, like I'm pretty social and generally comfortable around new/different people, but I definitely require lots of time to recharge. I know this is all hypothetical but it's something I've been thinking about. Any opinions?



  2. #2
    INFP - The Idealists

    Good topic and question. As an INFP therapist for 15 years, I think I can offer a few thoughts.

    1. Spending a full day at work--nearly any work--can be draining, so of course the goal would be to find relatively less draining work. And a role in which you can use your emotional intelligence and insight to help others might turn out to be relatively less draining than a role where you don't get to use your signature strengths. (Of course, which roles a person finds draining is a very individual thing.)

    2. Within the field of mental health one can choose a setting and role that is relatively more suited for the average INFP. For me that would mean a low-key setting with mostly 1-on-1 work--as opposed to a lot of group and couple work. I've actually been in private practice for the great majority of my career, and the autonomy and private space and lack of bureaucracy have been far more comfortable for me than the 2 years, or so, that I worked at a clinic/hospital setting.

    3. Most therapists pretty quickly develop the ability to not internalize too deeply the other person's problems--just as most surgeons are not for long horrified by their patients' wounds. If you happen to know that you're different in that regard, and would never be able to protect your inner self in that way, the equation might vary.

    4. Which "population" one works with is important. I've found it draining to work with schizophrenics and other seriously mentally ill people, because I couldn't relate much to their issues, and they were generally needing help at a much more basic level than insight and emotional management. (They were needing to be reminded to take their meds, etc.) I find it more fulfilling to deal with people for whom I'm likely to make more of a difference with my strengths at facilitating emotional insight, emotional management skills, etc., people who need help with anxiety, depression, grief, figuring out their life choices, and so on.

    By the way, I've also found it draining dealing with conflict oriented people, especially couples where one or both spew hostility toward each other. I would think most INFPs would find it similarly distressing working with those of a high conflict orientation.

    I hope some of that was of help, and good luck in your studies and career choices.
    thehigher, OrangeAppled, BlueBlueSky and 31 others thanked this post.

  3. #3
    INFP - The Idealists

    social psychology is something INFP's can get into with relative ease
    Rune and CommunistSam thanked this post.

  4. #4
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    I am in need of some advice in this area too. I've been thinking for years about studying to have a career in counselling. I think I'd be a natural at it, and everyone I know thinks I'd be great at it but one thing really worries me:

    I do make other people's problems my problems when I'm with them. It won't be so bad when I'm not with them, so I probably won't have too much of a problem with internalizing their problems and taking them home BUT I will take on full responsibility for fixing that person and I will feel depressed and like an utter failure if I am not able to help the client move on from their problems. It's like at the moment at work I am trying to help a colleague with her severe social anxiety, and it feels good when I get her talking and can share some insight and she seems happier and like she has a little confidence to change her behaviour and start to live her life without so much fear, then the next day she comes in and she's at square one again, asking the same questions going over and over the same ground. For weeks. And it is frustrating and draining and makes ME feel ultimately useless. I can't even encourage her to seek professional help.

    That's happened a few times in my life and it really effects my self-esteem and I think that perhaps I should just take a couple of basic counselling courses and keep being an "unofficial counsellor" to people in my life rather than making a career out of it and taking on that kind of responsibility and potential for stress. But then I think - is that wasting my potential?

    This "should I, shouldn't I" has been playing out seriously for at least three years now. It's a big decision to spend thousands of dollars on a professional course and a lot of dedication is required to study while holding down a full time job, and then I worry that it's not the sort of thing that can be learned properly in a distance learning format anyway.
    MaxwellMouse thanked this post.

  5. #5
    INFP - The Idealists


    Quote Originally Posted by skogprinsessa View Post
    I'm currently in school majoring in psychology and trying to figure out which route to take after I get my B.A. I know it's commonly said that INFPs are psychologists, but I'm curious about the interpersonal interaction part. It's the one thing that's making me hesitant to decide to do clinical work. Wouldn't talking to people all day be pretty draining? I think I would enjoy helping people understand themselves and look at their lives differently, but at the end of the day I would probably be a little worn out. I plan on having a family eventually and want to be able to devote myself to them, but if I am interacting with people all day at work I'm concerned that I won't have the energy to be emotionally present for those who matter most. I'm not an extreme introvert, like I'm pretty social and generally comfortable around new/different people, but I definitely require lots of time to recharge. I know this is all hypothetical but it's something I've been thinking about. Any opinions?
    yeah i also imagined that having to talk with clients all day would be draining...but maybe you'll actually find that interactions based on INTERESTING topics (such as psychology and peoples problems) energize you rather than drain you?
    GunsAndRoses and cdeuterian thanked this post.

  6. #6
    INFP - The Idealists

    On responsibility and boundaries in helping others

    Quote Originally Posted by kateykinz View Post
    I am in need of some advice in this area too. I've been thinking for years about studying to have a career in counselling. I think I'd be a natural at it, and everyone I know thinks I'd be great at it but one thing really worries me:

    I do make other people's problems my problems when I'm with them. It won't be so bad when I'm not with them, so I probably won't have too much of a problem with internalizing their problems and taking them home BUT I will take on full responsibility for fixing that person and I will feel depressed and like an utter failure if I am not able to help the client move on from their problems. It's like at the moment at work I am trying to help a colleague with her severe social anxiety, and it feels good when I get her talking and can share some insight and she seems happier and like she has a little confidence to change her behaviour and start to live her life without so much fear, then the next day she comes in and she's at square one again, asking the same questions going over and over the same ground. For weeks. And it is frustrating and draining and makes ME feel ultimately useless. I can't even encourage her to seek professional help.

    That's happened a few times in my life and it really effects my self-esteem and I think that perhaps I should just take a couple of basic counselling courses and keep being an "unofficial counsellor" to people in my life rather than making a career out of it and taking on that kind of responsibility and potential for stress. But then I think - is that wasting my potential?

    This "should I, shouldn't I" has been playing out seriously for at least three years now. It's a big decision to spend thousands of dollars on a professional course and a lot of dedication is required to study while holding down a full time job, and then I worry that it's not the sort of thing that can be learned properly in a distance learning format anyway.
    KateyKinz,

    Only a person with a good heart worries about whether they've helped another person sufficiently, or is deeply troubled when their help has not succeeded at fixing the other person's problems.

    But I wanted to share with you a few points that might be of some value to you as you contemplate a career in counseling.

    1. No counselor can help every person. (And no physician can heal all her patients; no accountant can get all his clients to be wise with their money; and no teacher can get all his students to excel at learning.) So it doesn't necessarily reflect badly on you when you can't help everyone you try helping. If you do your part to learn the skills of helping, and offer a solid effort in the counseling, you've succeeded at your role.

    2. It's more respectful to the other person for us to accept that they, and not you or I (as counselor or friend) have the final control and ability and responsiblity to change or not change their life. Indeed, one of the more important lessons a counselor can convey to a client is the lesson of healthy boundaries--that each of us is ultimately responsible for shaping our own life, even if we ask for guidance from others. Self-responsibility is one of the main disintctions in functioning between a child and an adult.

    3. When you let go of the responsiblity to fix people, so long as you communicate with them empathically, you'll paradoxically find yourself being able to be of better help...for several reasons. You won't be as anxious or as pressured, so your advice will be better thought out; you'll come across as more poised and confident...which will make your guidance seem more credible; the client will feel the need to take on greater responsibility for her own life and will likely feel more confident and able to do so.

    4. Part of the process of getting trained and certified/licensed to be a counselor involves internships. You'll have the opportunity to discuss your questions and concerns with an experienced counselor. But if you find that the supervisor you're assigned to is not helpful to you, or not comfortable for you to learn from, you can still pose your questions to other experienced counselors--whether they work at that facility, or whether you find them online in a forum such as this, or whether you go pay for in-person counseling for yourself, and focus on improving your role as a counselor.

    I hope you find that of help. (But, consistent with what I wrote above, I know that it is your ability and responsiblity to choose counseling or not. I have offered my honest thoughts in good faith, so my role was sucessfully played.)

    Feel free to ask a follow-up question, if you'd like to. And good luck to you on whatever decisions on career you ultimately make.
    OrangeAppled, BlueBlueSky, kateykinz and 7 others thanked this post.

  7. #7
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    Thank you Agnostic, that's very helpful. I think I have a few things I need to work on before I can make the decision. Mainly my cocktail of fear of responsibility coupled with inappropriately excessive guilt topped with a perfectionism sparkler
    AgnosticWriterINFP thanked this post.

  8. #8
    INFP - The Idealists

    I've thought about venturing into the world of psychology before. Put a good amount of thought into it -- even took a couple classes - and concluded that it would drastically change me as a person, in regards to how I see people and react, and that makes me a little uncomfortable. For me, reading about the myriad of psychological disorders and relative neurological functions is - well - like poisoning my brain....like written psychedelic entheogens... (words more appropriate than you would think)....
    Rune thanked this post.

  9. #9
    Unknown Personality

    Quote Originally Posted by ChriCha View Post
    I've thought about venturing into the world of psychology before. Put a good amount of thought into it -- even took a couple classes - and concluded that it would drastically change me as a person, in regards to how I see people and react, and that makes me a little uncomfortable. For me, reading about the myriad of psychological disorders and relative neurological functions is - well - like poisoning my brain....like written psychedelic entheogens... (words more appropriate than you would think)....
    I feel the same way. I thought about becoming a psychologist before, but now I don't want to because every time I read about a psychological disorder, it depresses me---and I also feel like it poisons my brain, too. I'd much rather be a philosopher, writer, anthropologist, or song writer.
    Rune thanked this post.

  10. #10
    INTP - The Thinkers

    I may be in INFJ, but I was thinking about the same thing for a career, the pro's and cons.

    I would suggest a private practice. That way you could regulate your own hours. take time in between appointments to recharge.
    Rune and SLeigh thanked this post.


 
Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. [INFP] Thank You to all of the PC INFPs.
    By Memphisto in forum INFP Forum - The Idealists
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 10-26-2011, 07:24 AM
  2. ISTP's, do you dislike psychologists?
    By DJArendee in forum ISTP Forum - The Mechanics
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 11-03-2010, 12:03 PM
  3. Are there any psychologists on this site?
    By conformitą in forum General Psychology
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-18-2010, 09:53 AM
  4. Any other INFPs like this?
    By Maximus in Chains in forum INFP Forum - The Idealists
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 12-14-2009, 11:59 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:00 PM.
Information provided on the site is meant to complement and not replace any advice or information from a health professional.
© 2014 PersonalityCafe