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What Is Community Psychology? To read any introductory text in the field of psychology, one would guess that the typical psychologist spends all of his or her time dreaming up and conducting arcane laboratory experiments, often of questionable relevance to pressing real world concerns.
On the contrary, however, most psychologists work in naturally occurring situations and settings. In addition to the clinical and testing psychologists, with whom the public is most familiar, many people—at all levels of professional training—are entering a relatively new field called community psychology.
Community psychology is fundamentally concerned with the relationship between social systems and individual well-being in the community context. Thus, community psychologists grapple with an array of social and mental health problems and they do so through research and interventions in both public and private community settings.
One of the most exciting aspects of community psychology is that the field is developing rapidly and is still in the process of defining itself.
It is not easily reduced to the traditional.
Fist, community psychologists simultaneously emphasize both applied service delivery to the community and theory-based research on social environmental processes. Second, they focus, not just on individual psychological make-up, but on multiple levels of analysis, from individuals and groups to specific programs to organizations and, finally, to whole communities.
Third, community psychology covers a broad range of settings and substantive areas. A community psychologist might find herself or himself conducting research in a mental health center on Monday, appearing as an expert witness in a courtroom on Tuesday, evaluating a hospital program on Wednesday, implementing a school-based program on Thursday, and organizing a community board meeting on Friday.
For all the above reasons, there is a sense of vibrant urgency and uniqueness among community psychologists—as if they are as much a part of a social movement as of a professional or scientific discipline. It may be useful to describe community psychology by distinguishing it from other disciplines with which it is closely allied.
Community psychology is like clinical psychology and community mental health in its action orientation. That is, community psychology aims to promote human welfare.
Community psychologists are more likely to see threats to mental health in the social environment, or in lack of fit between individuals and their environment.
They typically advocate social rather than individual change. They focus on health rather than on illness, and on enhancing individual and community competencies.
Community psychology is like public health in adopting a preventive orientation. That is, community psychologists try to prevent problems before they start, rather than waiting for them to become serious and debilitating.
But community psychology differs from public health in its concern with mental health, social institutions, and the quality of life in general.
In many ways, community psychology is like social work, except that it has a strong research orientation. While academic social work has become more research-based, even applied, practicing community psychologists are committed to the notion that nothing is more practical than rigorous, well-conceived research directed at social problems.
Community psychology is like social psychology and sociology in taking a group or systems approach to human behavior, but it is more applied than these disciplines and more concerned with using psychological knowledge to resolve social problems. It borrows many techniques from industrial and organizational psychology, but tends to deal with community organizations, human service delivery systems, and support networks.
Plus, it focuses simultaneously on the problems of clients and workers as opposed to solely the goals and values of management.
It is concerned with issues of social regulation and control, and with enhancing the positive characteristics and coping abilities of relatively powerless social groups such as minorities, children, and the elderly. What Community Psychologists Do The new and disparate areas of community psychology are thus bound together by a singular vision: Community psychology is not only a professional and scientific discipline.
The community perspective challenges traditional modes of thought. It looks at whole ecological systems, including political, cultural, and environmental influences, as well as focusing on institutional and organizational factors. The community approach also emphasizes the effects of stress and social support, and the practicality of prevention and self-help.
Furthermore, it recognizes the demand for local empowerment and bureaucratic decentralization and anti-professionalism and the importance of cultural relativity and diversity. The community perspective simultaneously stresses the utility of research, not only for theory development, but for program evaluation and policy analysis—and the omni presence of values implicitly or explicitly throughout society and even science.
An important aspect of the community orientation is its appreciation of the authority of historical and structural contexts. And, finally, it emphasizes community and personal strengths and competency, as opposed to weaknesses and pathology. Professional and Non-professional Opportunities in Community Psychology Any brief introduction to a field as broad and varied as community psychology can give only a superficial flavor of all that it is, and can be, about.
There are reduced-cost student memberships. Other academic journals related to community psychology include J. The employment prospects for professional community psychologists remain favorable. Part of the reason may be that, as so many social and mental health problems worsen, service administrators are beginning to appreciate the value of people trained to investigate and solve problems at the organizational, as opposed to the individual, level.
The demand for community psychologists may also be due to their versatile ability to address problems in virtually any public and even private sector setting. The reader should note that formal training is not a prerequisite to practicing community psychology.
Furthermore, the reader is encouraged to participate in self-help groups, service programs, and community action committees.The Ph.D. Psychology - Behavior Analysis is a unique program that offers training opportunities in both applied behavior analysis and experimental work.
What Are the Different Fields in Psychology? Psychology is a broad area that encompasses a number of specialized fields, including clinical, counseling and school psychology. Read on to learn about a few of the different . Careers In The Field of Psychology.
The more difficult questions, that only experts and individuals in the field of psychology can answer, are addressed in our extensive list of psychology careers below.
For example, community social workers are responsible for such things like policy creation and analysis, social planning, community. A comprehensive, coeducational Catholic High school Diocese of Wollongong - Albion Park Act Justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with your God Micah Community psychology studies the individuals' contexts within communities and the wider society, and the relationships of the individual to communities and society.
Community psychologists seek to understand the quality of life of individuals within groups, organizations and . Force-field analysis is a development in social science. It provides a framework for looking at the factors (forces) that influence a situation, originally social kaja-net.com looks at forces that are either driving movement toward a goal (helping forces) or blocking movement toward a goal (hindering forces).