Upon graduation from college, many young psychology professionals struggle with how to stay connected to what is current in the field. In the past psychologists could join an organization and subscribe to a relevant psychological publication and that would be enough. With so many technological advances, staying on top of your field can be much more challenging. Here are some of the best ways to stay connected:
Using Professional Affiliations and Memberships to Stay Connected
One of the most effective ways to connect with other professional psychologists is by joining Psychology Organizations and Associations. In addition to the most widely known organization, the American Psychological Association (APA), http://www.apa.org/ there are hundreds of associations and organizations that cater to more narrow interests in the field of psychology. For example, psychological professionals who specialize in Personality or Social Psychology may choose to become members of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. http://www.spsp.org/ By doing so they can connect with other Personality and Social Psychologists, while sharing research findings, ideas and information. There are specialty area organizations for almost all areas of psychology. Some of these include:
- Forensic Psychology – American Psychology-Law Society
- Cognitive Psychology – Cognitive Science Society
- Behavioral Psychology – Association for Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies
- Psychoanalytic Psychology – American Psychoanalytic Association
Using Your College or University Alumni Status to Stay Connected
Another valuable tool to stay connected is by becoming active in your college or universities Alumni Association. While many of the activities are geared towards raising funds, there are many opportunities to connect with other graduates in your profession.
Using Social Media to Stay Connected
Social media continues to thrive and grow throughout the country. While it used to be mostly for individuals hoping to connect socially with friends, the industry has grown into a tool for both personal and professional connections. Psychology professionals can take advantage of the many popular media sites to connect with other professionals. These include names such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn. These sites have grown into excellent resources for professionals looking to share information, research findings and new trends in the field.
Using The Internet to Stay Connected
One more tool that is readily accessible is the Internet. Almost all professional organizations and associations now have websites that allow members to connect with one another. There are also websites devoted to sharing research findings and psychological date, such as the Online Psychology Laboratory (OPL) or Psychological Research on the Net. Professional psychologists can use the growing number of websites designed to help keep them on top of what is new and current in the field of psychology.
By finding the best methods to stay connected to other professional psychologists, you can better understand what is changing within the field. These resources can help you stay on top of current research, policy changes, shifts in diagnosis or treatment and many others. Knowing what ways to best stay connected to the professional field of psychology will help you to be a more successful psychologist.