I originally chose psychology at A Level, as psychology has had a major impact on my family, although I have always been intrigued by human behaviour and the mind, I wanted to gain insight on how mental disorders worked, how they were treated and psychopathology particularly. I have personally witnessed the effects psychological treatment can have on improving a person’s quality of life. This pushed me to choose the course, and as a result it has inspired me to want to do the same. During the course I particularly enjoyed learning about social influence, as it helped me gain a better understanding of group mentality, behaviour towards authority and the agentic state, which I found to be very interesting as it offers an explanation for social behaviour, that I can apply to my Nazi Germany course.
My experience on the psychology A Level course has encouraged my want to continue the subject at a higher level and the knowledge I have learnt has helped me understand my own mental health better. My experience with therapy has given me direct insight into the practice of the career and has given me a unique perspective as a recipient of it. I’d like to develop my learning further at university and eventually pursue it as a career. My work experience took place at Fern Holistic Centre, the holistic environment enabled me to learn more about alternative therapies and the benefits of them. I learnt how this particular psychological theory was practiced in the workplace, and the importance of sensitivity and approachability in this field of work. Completing this work experience furthered my knowledge and reinforced my understanding of the information I have learnt during my A Level course. Previously I hadn’t given much regard to alternative therapies as I hadn’t had experience with them, my view of psychology was more scientific, in a therapeutic context. So I am thankful for this experience as it has helped me widen my perception of theories and approaches, like holism, viewing them as more legitimate and giving them more consideration.
During my first year at sixth form, I volunteered to mentor those on the SEN program which helped me become more patient, responsible and sensitive to the specific needs of the children. It showcased my persistence and dedication, as many students often struggled and would need constant motivation, support and reassurance. I also learnt how to take effective notes that would be reported back to a member of staff. I was also trusted with a position as a monitor for the lower-school, which taught me responsibility and patience, something that is important when working in a psychological field. These skills are useful in a psychological setting, therapy in particular, and I wish to develop them further.
Furthermore, I have attended a family member’s psychiatric review, that consisted of different medical professionals at varying levels of their career, which gave me an awareness to the inner-workings of the profession. Additionally, I enjoy watching psychology documentaries, relating to criminality, mental disorders, the effect of social influence and the power of the unconscious in particular. This confirms that my interest in psychology isn’t solely academic, but that it relates to my whole life, showing how much of a passion it is. These have helped to develop my learning and give me a wider range of knowledge, as some aspects that are discussed aren’t taught on my course. My education, work experience and personal connection to psychology have helped to consolidate and build upon my course knowledge and general understanding of psychology, allowing me to develop various skills a long the way that are crucial in terms of my career aspirations. Continuing my learning at university would be extremely beneficial for me and I deeply wish to do so.