When you look at the field of psychology, you will see many different specialties and paths that a psychologist will be able to take. Some of the most common options are to go into clinical psychology and forensic psychology. While both of these disciplines deal with psychology and those who may have psychological issues, they are very different. It's a good idea to learn a bit more about the different disciplines so you can be sure which one might be a good option for you.
Those who go into clinical psychology will find that the main purpose they have it is to diagnose and treat different psychological problems. In forensic psychology, the goal is to provide psychological assessments in legal situations. Forensic psychologists will often work with law enforcement and the court system to be able to offer help and even expert testimony as a witness. Both of these fields began around the same time, well over a hundred years ago, but their goals are not always the same. The first time forensic psychology was part of a trial was in the late 1800s when Albert Von Schrenk-Notzing testified that publicity could have an effect on witness accounts.
You will want to understand the principles of clinical psychology if you are going into forensics and vice versa. Understanding the different motivating factors and the different ways that specialists will look at cases can be very beneficial for you. You will find that if you decide to pursue your career in forensics, you are going to want to have more than just a background in psychology. You will also want to have some type of training in criminology. This will help you understand the proceedings and the law better, and it will give you more insight into the criminal mind.
You have a number of options when it comes to psychology careers, but each different option is going to take you down a different path. When you are trying to determine what you want your specialty to be, it's important that you research and understand the type of cases and work that you will be doing. With forensic psychology, for example, you will often have to work with those who have committed serious and disturbing crimes. You will want to know if you are cut out for this type of work before you commit to having a career that is going to put you into contact with criminals.