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What Is Community Psychology?

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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. content categories in psychology for several reasons. 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.

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Any thoughts?

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I believe it is always an advantage to take a problem in both a micro and macro context. For psychology to open itself up it to look at both only serves the population better. There are many reasons people find themselves in the problems they face, it's rarely one single event.

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Posted (edited)

I chose this link because it addresses the topic well. But it also suggest that Community psychology is new?? I took courses on this specific subject when I was in college. For me, I like Jung but in truth? I like this better.

Any thoughts?

Edited by Triad

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the explaination. Never heard of Community Psychology, though, I am a practicing psychologist but in the field of mental healt so somethings do slip by me. As for doing arcane things in labs. We gave that up in undergraduate school, and didn't have the time due to reading and internships while working on our M.A.s and Ph.D.s. I'l check with some community MH types and find out more about the treatment of the general pop.goes and not just the rich, neurotic ones that the paractice I am in treats. :tu::tu::tu:

Edited by Graveyard Hound

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Thanks for the explaination. Never heard of Community Psychology, though, I am a practicing psychologist but in the field of mental healt so somethings do slip by me. As for doing arcane things in labs. We gave that up in undergraduate school, and didn't have the time due to reading and internships while working on our M.A.s and Ph.D.s. I'l check with some community MH types and find out more about the treatment of the general pop.goes and not just the rich, neurotic ones that the paractice I am in treats. :tu::tu::tu:

Homeboy, it just worked out that way.

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Generally community psychology deals with the relationships of the individual to communities and society. It is generally concerned with the relationship between social work group system and individual in the community context. It is not a professional and scientific discipline.It is also an value orientation that is applicable to virtually any field or profession.

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