Background to my interest in teaching children with autism

One of the reasons why such a modest number of psychologists is graduated from universities is that, given the introductory nature of most general level Psychology courses at university, most people ‘don’t get it’ – they don’t understand how a science of Psychology works or is possible. And they tend, therefore, to imagine that Psychology involves the exercise of personal reason or logic and the application of personal experience and philosophy.
Retiring Retirees
Another reason why few psychologists are graduated is that Psychology is the most expensive profession in which to educate people. Does that surprise you? In order to become a psychologist you usually have first to obtain the highest academic degree – the Ph.D., or Doctorate of Philosophy – the degree university professors usually have to have. That takes an average of 9 years at university, with a range from 7 to 14 years. (By way of comparison, medicine and law require only 5 to 6 years at university.) After that you have to serve at least a year of internship under supervision, followed by written and oral exams which you must pass before you can be licensed to practice Psychology. Then, if you want to become a specialist, in the usual instance, it is expected that you will work under supervision in the type of specialty work you plan to do for about five more years, often followed by further exams.
By the time you have completed all this, you are almost ready to retire. But you can’t afford it yet. You see, you first have to pay off the debts you have accumulated during the years of university. Meanwhile you have to build up a suitable retirement fund. But these two tasks are not as easy as you might think. You see, psychologists are one of the lowest paid of the professions, even although they function as one of the half-dozen professions practising absolutely independently – that means there is no other type of profession in the area which is better-trained to assume the responsibilities of independent practice.

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