Pyc4811 Community Psychology Essay

1918 words - 8 pages

Monica Fourie
Student Number: 45918287
PYC4811
Assignment 1:
Unique number – 657794

Monica Fourie
Student Number: 45918287
657794

PYC4811
Assignment 1: Unique number -

CONTENTS
1. INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................... 1
2. DISCUSSION ................................................................................................................ 1
2.1.

History ............................................................................................................................................... 1

2.2.

Focus, involvement and aim ...view middle of the document...

What people have realised overtime though is that there is not just one solution
or cure all method that can influence social problems; rather it is a combination of caring, working together and
applying various different approaches to generate a balance that will lessen conflict and social problems.

2.

DISCUSSION

Community psychology and public health are two approaches that are used to tackle social problems. Below
follows a discussion on both approaches to gain more insight into how they originated, what similarities and
differences they have and how each approach is making a difference.
2.1.

History

Community Psychology
During the 1800 and 1900’s a growing number of people became dissatisfied with the ability and the way that
clinical psychologist were handling the demand of the masses for support and treatment, especially after World
War Two, there just wasn’t enough trained people to give the support needed. Psychologists started looking at
ways to reach more people at the same time and during the 1960s community psychology began to emerge and
today many recognize a 1965 meeting at the Swampscott Conference as the official beginning of contemporary
community psychology. At this meeting, the attendees concluded that psychology needed to take a greater focus
on communities and social change in order to address the mental health and well-being of more people at the
same time. It was only during the 1980’s that South Africa adopted and started to apply some of the community
psychology principals that first originated in America.
Public Health
Public health originated in the rural areas of South Africa in the early 1940s.

A group of South-African doctors

started a project in Pholela with the idea to integrate clinical medicine and public health. They realized that a more
holistic understanding of the reasons for physical diseases was needed to educate and cure people. Their
approach focused on getting to know the residents of Phoela and its environment; they were then able to start
involving people and educating them on ways to become and stay physically healthy. This integration lead to a
number of health care centers opening in South-Africa. During the 1950’s some of the doctors immigrated overseas
and started new public health initiatives in Israel and America.
2.2.

Focus, involvement and aim

Community Psychology
The focus of community psychology is on the masses and not just on an individual in a one-on-one setting as is the
norm when practicing clinical psychology. Everyone from the ordinary person to the leader in a community are
involved and invited to act together with the guidance from a community psychologist to find solutions to problems
that respect diversity and are not judgemental or discriminatory. Community psychology takes a holistic, systemsbased approach and aims to understand people’s behaviour, mental health and the underlying social issues that
contribute to problems...

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