Postgraduate Programs in Psychology
Students in clinical psychology focus their training in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental disorders. In addition to providing different modalities of therapy, they acquire in-depth training in psychopharmacology to qualify them for prescribing the relevant medicine after passing comprehensive examination. Demand for their work is particularly high in African societies where post-traumatic disorders and chronic mental disorders are rife, yet shrouded with myths and replete with fraudulent treatments that go by name of traditional healing.
Those who study forensic psychology, representing an interface between psychology and the law, specialize in practical application of psychological knowledge, principles, and assessment instruments in legal proceedings by which the courts and other administrative bodies use to render verdict on civil and criminal cases when needed. As such, the students learn tools and techniques for assessing psychiatric symptoms relevant to legal question involving civil litigation (like personal injury, civil commitment, worker compensation, child custody disputes etc.) or involving criminal proceedings (like investigation of crime, competency to stand trial, sanity when the crime was committed, etc.)
This specialization is an interdisciplinary field combining psychology and medicine where students learn to integrate knowledge of psychological, biological, and social sciences that pertain to health and illness of individuals and communities. Behavioral medicine, related to what is called 'behavioral health but integrates both preventive and curative intervention, uses the biopsychosocial model of illness instead of the medical model. This field has proved invaluable in treatment of not only what traditional has been called psychosomatic illness but also a variety of disorders like substance abuse, hypertension, insomnia, and sexual problems. The study of behavioral medicine also offers a means to treating khat abuse, a highly prevalent and costly addiction in Somali society and generally in the Horn of African region.
Other Specializations in Psychology
Students in the post-graduate programs in psychology have the option of focusing their studies in educational psychology, social psychology and organizational psychology. Those who focus on educational psychology study optimum conditions for learning as well as evaluating, planning, and managing educational systems Those who specialize in social psychology study in depth how individuals and groups reciprocally influence their affect, thought, and behavior. Those who focus on organizational psychology study the ways people in organizations interact and influence one another, resulting in good or poor satisfaction and outcome.
Duration of the Programs
The duration of the clinical psychology, forensic psychology, and behavioral medicine programs is two years with internship of one additional year. A Bachelor Degree in psychology, medicine, or their equivalent is required for admission to the clinical psychology and behavioral medicine programs. Applicants with prior degree in psychology, law, or criminology are preferred for the forensic psychology program. Internship and writing a thesis conclude requirements of the postgraduate programs in psychology.