Psychology Essay

1572 words - 7 pages


Assignment 1
Unique number: 536709

Student number: 46338462

Assignment 1: 536709


Student number: 46338462

Index 1. Introduction 2. Historical background 3. Aims and approaches 4. Theories 5. Critiques 6. Conclusion 7. References 3 3 4 5 5 6 6


Assignment 1: 536709


Student number: 46338462

Introduction According to Orford (1998:36) Community Psychology(CP) is about understanding people within their social worlds and using this understanding to improve people's well-being. Public Health (PH) is defined by The American Heritage Medical Dictionary (cited in Thefreedictionary, 2000) as “the science and ...view middle of the document...

This was blocked by the US Congress, the necessary funding was restricted and the implementation of reforms failed to translate into practical action, remaining “more as an ideological corrective to the individualising and curative bias of mainstream clinical psychology than as a viable alternative” (Tutorial Letter 102 for PYC4811, 2014:5). CP was introduced in South Africa in the 1980s. Since becoming popular, CPs main appeal has been its utopian promise of more social equalities. It challenged Euro/American-base psychology as being inappropriate to non-western context, as it can strengthen unwanted attitudes and behaviours such as racism and sexism (Tutorial Letter 102 for PYC4811, 2014:5) . According to Seedat. et al (cited in the Reader for PYC4811, 2013:218) “many psychologist have boarded the CP wagon to cross the great divide between the comfortable consultancy room and the masses”. One of CP’s weaknesses is that, CP has yet to become established as a completely developed professional field on par with clinical, counselling, educational and research psychology (Tutorial Letter 102, 2014:5)


Assignment 1: 536709


Student number: 46338462

Unlike CP, PH’s approach is more realistic; with concrete and measurable goals and achievements (Tutorial Letter 102, 2014:8). PH originates from sanitary science, social medicine, and community health; and surfaced from the government's effort to regulate hygiene and the movement of waste in an effort to stem the outbreak of disease. It originally focused on illness, treatment and recovery, as it became apparent in the 1850’s during the industrial revolution that unhealthy social conditions were linked to infectious disease (Gilbert, 1995:4) The PH approach in South Africa aims to prevent disease and distress of all forms before they transpire. According to Tutorial Letter 102 (2014:8), PH is an applied science designed in response to daily life challenges in the pursuit of a longer, better life. This led to the formation of the bio-medical model that, although mainly regulatory in function, are aimed at promoting well-being by influencing health behaviour. PH is an attempt to deal with the health of the community as a whole and to use community resources to achieve this goal. Aims and approaches CP and PH are aimed at prevention of mental health issues and the associated social problems, rather than cure, which is less resource intensive and costly. According to Albee (cited in the reader for PYC4811, 2013:88) “if all problems of mental and emotional disorders are learned then they could be unlearned through psychotherapy, but they also could be prevented given a changed social learning context.” CP and PH have moved away from traditional, mainstream psychology (one-on-one therapy) as their goal is to reach more individuals by working and dealing with problems in the heart of the community. Both are multidisciplinary and involve diverse community members and focus on empowerment,...

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