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Stella M
05-04-2012, 01:24 AM
Dd 14 is very interested in her psychology studies. I thought it would be nice if she could do some volunteering/work experience somewhere. But I don't know where - I know psychologists do way more than sit in a consulting room and talk things over in private but that's my only experience :) And they won't want her there...

Can you help me brainstorm some appropriate places to ask ?

Munchie33
05-04-2012, 05:49 AM
Hm. You might try at the nearest university, if it isn't too far. When I was an undergrad, I used to volunteer for loads of things because it was so interesting. There were ones where I'd sit in front of a computer and the screen would flash words for a fraction of a second and I'd have to try to pick them up, and ones where I'd just sit with a group of people and describe a picture of a forest. The best were the ones where they'd let me know the overall results. Very interesting stuff.

The trouble is, there are lots of laws and red tape when it comes to any sort of experiments or even interviews with children. A lot of places might not be able to, or it might be too much trouble. When I did my Masters, I did a lot of stuff on bullying in schools, and although I had wanted to use a simple survey which contained only the question "Have you ever been bullied at school? yes/no", in the end I couldn't go through with it because it was going to take about two years to get looked at by the higher powers, and even then they would probably say 'no', because there was always the teensy chance that it would bring up a horrible memory for some poor kid. Basically, if there is even the slightest risk of causing distress to a child, no matter how small, they can't do it. So you might run into some trouble finding somewhere that will run psychology volunteer experiments with children. If you can't get anything out of a university, try your nearest hospital. They will know of places to look.

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
05-04-2012, 09:17 AM
We have many universities in my city and they're always looking for kids to volunteer for studies about learning disabilities, child development, etc. The kids do fun things like play games with researchers. More neuroscience than psychiatry, but fascinating none the less. Maybe she could ask about sitting in on the sessions or talk to the researchers.

dbmamaz
05-04-2012, 09:46 AM
I wonder if they have something like volunteers at mental hospitals, like coming in and reading books to troubled kids? My daughter spent months reading about the personality types (Myers Briggs) and then spent hours on a message board focussed on psych issues. And went on and on telling us what she thought our Myers Briggs types were and how that effected everything . . .and now she's going in to advertising and realizing all that psych study is relevant!

Airen
05-04-2012, 11:59 AM
How about a nursing home? I know it's not a direct link, but they always love volunteers. Maybe to a comparative on the before and after short term mind set?

jess
05-04-2012, 01:26 PM
I wonder if they have something like volunteers at mental hospitals, like coming in and reading books to troubled kids? My daughter spent months reading about the personality types (Myers Briggs) and then spent hours on a message board focussed on psych issues. And went on and on telling us what she thought our Myers Briggs types were and how that effected everything . . .and now she's going in to advertising and realizing all that psych study is relevant!
I suspect mental hospitals wouldn't allow volunteers, especially minors, though it never hurts to ask. But maybe something less acute - a group home, or a special ed class (I volunteered in a class for severely handicapped kids as a teen), or something like that.


How about a nursing home? I know it's not a direct link, but they always love volunteers. Maybe to a comparative on the before and after short term mind set?
Oh, you can definitely find direct links in a nursing home :)

Another possibility would be some sort of peer counseling program. Often these are run through schools, but you might be able to find an independent one. http://teenlineonline.org/ is one I'm familiar with (though I think the volunteering portion is specific to the LA area).

Stella M
05-04-2012, 07:07 PM
Thanks for all these suggestions, special ed sounds promising, especially as she is currently interested in developmental psychology. I will have a look around.

ETA I found a dance group for young people with disabilities close by so I might see how she feels about volunteering with them. I guess anything with people gives one a chance to observe and think about human behaviour!

She already student teaches dance and does reading support at the local school, so she's probably well enough supplied with kiddies to observe...

Hmm...I also just found out we have a Psychology Museum at the uni down the road. And the Jewish Museum would work as well...

Just listing these here for anyone who comes along and reads this thread out of interest for their own dc later...

mom2samtheman
05-04-2012, 09:13 PM
I vote for a nursing home. I have worked in 3 and I promise there will be no shortage of interesting psychological/personalities/neurology opportunities. Try calling the activities or recreation therapy departments. They are the departments that dont do personal care per se, but are right there with the residents, helping them have fun, be productive and keep busy. She will have a variety of experiences and when I worked in nursing homes, there was never a dull moment :) The nursing home I worked in most recently has a junior volunteer program where high school students come and spend a day or two in a variety of departments. Might be worth looking into. Also, if she is mature enough (I didn't catch her age) and old enough, maybe she could volunteer/work at a camp or summer program for kids with special needs. I know in NY a lot of kids, especially preschoolers, attend special needs schools year round, and would probably LOVE an extra set of hands. I worked in a special needs preschool many years ago, and had a classroom with 18 kids in in, 12 of whom had special needs that ranged from autism, ADHD, developmental delays, down's syndrome, etc. VERY interesting as well :)

Stella M
05-04-2012, 10:06 PM
Thanks for that! It's good to know the 'right' places to direct her to enquire...we have two or three nursing homes within walking distance so I'll add that to my list!

mom2samtheman
05-04-2012, 10:23 PM
Yeah, I actually went to nursing school and everything, and I planned on working in a nursing home solely because I have such a strong interest in psych and I was never disappointed :)