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What are some of the best ways to pick a dissertation topic for the PhD or PsyD in Psychology?

Doing a lot of reading is essential if you are to come up with some ideas of what subject you would like to focus on and what direction you would like your career to go in for many years to come. All dissertation ideas should be considered carefully. There might be a lot of small modifications you can make to the title that make a huge difference to what you will end up writing about, and allow you to successfully avoid imperceptible pitfalls. Use your supervisor as a sounding board for all ideas before embarking upon any project. The closer their expertise is to your topic, the better.

Some advisers are willing to suggest 2-3 topics for you. This provides you with several benefits, as your adviser is more likely to have a good overview of the field in general, the sources, know if the subject is feasible for your time frame and you may receive guidance along the way.

Whether you finally end up with your idea or an idea suggested to you, make sure you are interested in the thesis topic. It is also helpful if your mentor is interested in the subject, as they are more likely to be motivated to help you. This passion will help you overcome the obstacles you will inevitably come up against during the course of your research. 

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The Humanitarian Side of a Doctoral Degree in Psychology

What is the purpose of doing a doctoral degree? Many who are already out there in the workforce might say it´s because you want to delay the inevitable: going out into the real world of work. There´s a good chance that people who say things like this are jealous.

The real reasons for doing a doctoral degree in psychology are personal. Some would like to have an impact on public policy formation, and believe they can do the most good from on high. They would be right. If that is where they would like to work, great for them!

Others are looking out into the world to see what situations are the most pressing right now. Many are aware how complex many veterans there are out there who are suffering from PTSD. In the United States, one veteran commits suicide every 65 minutes, according to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs´ report in 2013.

Almost one every hour. How many of them received psychological care? How many scholars are dedicating their time and energy to their well-being? We might not agree with war, but the facts remain.

What is your vision for your life? If the time for action is ever ripe, it´s ripe now. The future of our world depends on us, doesn´t it? Getting qualified is one way to impact the world. It´s not hiding, it´s refining, honing our skills for effectiveness!

With a doctoral degree, you become the ultimate guide. You guide professionals, students, government, researchers—anyone you choose to focus on will receive the benefit of your study.

It gives you power. And you can use that power for good or to the detriment of others. Some doctors abuse their power, and make others feel inferior through arrogance. I´m not sure their intentions were ever pure, but they may have lost their way during the process. It´s easy to wander off as you move forward.

Keeping a diary or log book of your inspirations will prevent you from going off track. Doing humanitarian work can also draw your initial motivations back into focus and help you use your emotions to drive your career forward.

Being grateful and humble also helps. If your life is an act of service to others, as you pursue your interests, everyone wins. That positive energy can do wonders in your life, to inspire you, inspire others, and shape the future for our children.

Being a psychologist involves working for the well-being of others, but there are so many options when it comes to where to focus your energy. If you´ve got your eye on the target, and you´re ready to go, why not let us do the hard work of writing your personal statement of purpose for you? We specialize in helping individuals like you develop their knowledge and do some impressive humanitarian work. We know you´re on the path towards great things. Please do email us to get the ball rolling.