Advertising and Marketing Psychology Business Psychology Clinical Psychology Criminal Psychology Death and Dying Psychology P S Y C H O L O G Y I N A C T I O N
Family Psychology Media Psychology
Performance Psychology Rehabilitation Psychology
School Psychology Sports Psychology
P S Y C H O L O G Y I N A C T I O N
By Joyce A. Anthony Anne S. Walters, PhD, ABPP, Consultant Family Psychology
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C O N T E N T S
Introduction: What Is Psychology? .............................. 6 Chapter 1: Becoming a Family Psychologist ............ 10 Chapter 2: History and Development of the Field .... 26 Chapter 3: Common and Unusual Issues .................. 42 Chapter 4: How Psychology Helps ............................ 62 Chapter 5: Takeaways for Everyday Life . ................. 76 Series Glossary of Key Terms ...................................... 90 Further Reading & Internet Resources ...................... 93 Index . ............................................................................. 94 Author’s Biography and Credits ................................. 96 KEY I CONS TO LOOK FOR : Words to Understand: These words with their easy-to-understand definitions will increase readers’ understanding of the text while building vocabulary skills. Sidebars: This boxed material within the main text allows readers to build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspectives by weaving together additional information to provide realistic and holistic perspectives. Educational Videos: Readers can view videos by scanning our QR codes, providing them with additional educational content to supplement the text. Text-Dependent Questions: These questions send the reader back to the text for more careful attention to the evidence presented there. Research Projects: Readers are pointed toward areas of further inquiry connected to each chapter. Suggestions are provided for projects that encourage deeper research and analysis. Series Glossary of Key Terms: This back-of-the-book glossary contains terminology used throughout this series. Words found here increase the reader’s ability to read and comprehend higher-level books and articles in this field.
What Is Psychology? When we look up the meaning of the word psychology , we learn that it comes from two Greek words—“psyche,” which means “mind,” and “logia,” which means “the study of.” Hence, psychology is “the study of the mind.” (Merriam-Webster.com) Essentially, psychology aims to study and better understand emotions, thoughts, and behaviors, with the goal of benefiting society. Those who choose to study psychology generally have a strong urge to help others, though the definition of “others” can vary across concentric circles of influence, from the individual to the family and then on to broader systems such as a school, neighborhood, or society. That urge to help and understand people and their behavior is perhaps the most basic motivator that leads an individual to want to pursue the study of psychology. Some describe psychology as a “hub science” to depict the way that it links to the social sciences, the natural sciences, medicine, and the humanities. In university settings, however, psychology is considered a social science. Social sciences deal with the study of human behavior in its social and cultural aspects. They include fields such as anthropology, sociology, political science, history, education, and economics. These fields are certainly diverse, and yet one can see the commonality: these disciplines all teach us more about how the individual and society interact and influence each other. Another important distinction is the one between psychology and psychiatry. Simply put, psychologists pursue
graduate level degrees (master’s or doctorate) in psychology, whereas psychiatrists complete medical school prior to specializing in psychiatry. After medical school (and receiving an MD degree), there are three years of psychiatry training to become an adult psychiatrist. If they want to specialize further (such as in child and adolescent psychiatry or forensics), there is additional training in this specialty field for several years and then they must take a board examination to become certified in their specialty area. Psychiatrists can prescribe medication, and psychologists cannot (although in some rural or underserved areas this is an option for psychologists). Psychiatrists are also uniquely suited to understand biological or medical contributions to mental illness. On the other hand, some day-to-day practices of psychiatrists do not look that different from those of psychologists. What does studying psychology entail? There are so many options! Within psychology, there are multiple fields of study. Some of them you will learn about in these volumes, but it would take far too many volumes to cover all of them. If you’re interested in exploring more about psychology beyond this series, you might consider developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, and comparative psychology. Developmental psychology is the study of development throughout a person’s life, from infancy through old age. Some of the more famous developmental psychologists have been Jean Piaget, who identified stages for the development of cognition in children, and B. F. Skinner, who studied the process of learning and taught us about the concepts of operant and classical conditioning. Another field, cognitive psychology, studies human thought: one famous psychologist in this field is Noam Chomsky, who studied the development of language. Comparative psychologists study animal behavior, and in this area Konrad
Lorenz studied the process by which baby geese “imprint” on the first object they see after birth. If you Google Professor Lorenz, you may see pictures of goslings following him around the yard. Although there are many ways to cluster the various subfields of psychology, one common distinction is between clinical and nonclinical applications, sometimes also referred to as applied psychology vs. basic research . Clinical or applied psychology focuses on understanding and treating psychiatric disorders that challenge day-to-day functioning. Treatment is derived from an evidence base that assesses outcomes or the ways that a treatment is effective. Establishing an evidence base is an important aspect of the work of a psychologist. Some devote their careers to this work, which can overlap with nonclinical or research applications. Researchers use scientific methods to advance knowledge in the field in a variety of topics. These psychologists work in academic settings as well as industry and organizations. Why would you want to become a psychologist or even to study psychology? The field of psychology has countless applications to everyday life, and as such, it can be a jumping off point for many careers. The reader will learn about different psychology careers in these volumes. What’s more, as a major in college, psychology can be applied to a variety of careers outside of psychology, such as human resources, teaching, criminal justice, and many others. For those who have the option to take an elective psychology course in high school, it can be a wonderful opportunity to get a jump start on the weighty decision of what to major in and to see whether the subject matter interests you. In writing this introduction, I can give you a window into a personal choice. I am a child clinical psychologist and have devoted my career to helping children and their families. I work
in an academic medical center, which means that although I do clinical work, I also teach and supervise psychology students at many phases of their career. In addition, I write for various venues and conduct applied research into the outcomes of the treatment we provide. I am also an administrator, and as such I attend to aspects of psychology as a “business”: hiring and training those who do the work in our setting and tracking our budget, to name a few examples. One of the best things about this career is that every day is different, and yet the common experience is of helping others. In producing this series, we hope that we can provide a window into the varied choices you can make with a degree in psychology. From professor to therapist, working with toddlers or the elderly, teaching business psychology or conducting family therapy, there is likely at least one application of the subject of psychology that will appeal to you. I hope the exploration is rewarding!
Anne S. Walters, PhD, ABPP Clinical Director Children’s Partial Hospital Program Clinical Professor Alpert Medical School of Brown University
A family psychologist focuses on individuals within a family unit.
WORDS TO UNDERSTAND
Facilitate: To make something happen. Bias: The act of choosing sides in regard to what is wrong or right. Enablers: People who make it easy for those with addiction or other issues continue without getting help.
Becoming a Family Psychologist
A family psychologist focuses on the emotions, thoughts, and behaviors of individuals within a family unit and works with members to facilitate more positive behaviors within the family unit and the larger environment in which it functions. The therapy performed by the family psychologist is intended to address conflict within the family unit and to help the members improve communication among themselves to help solve the conflict. The term family psychologist brings to mind a group made up of parents and their children, but a family psychologist doesn’t just work with those types of families. You may see a family psychologist working with one parent and one or more of their children, only the children, a married couple, or even business groups or organizations that need help communicating. This is one of the fastest-growing occupations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that the need for family psychologists will grow by 22 percent by the year 2028. The increased need is explained in part by many veterans returning
Each family is unique and needs its own psychological approach.
Types of Family Therapy
Family psychology isn’t just one approach to solving issues within a family. Each family is unique and needs its own approach. In most cases, the family psychologist may combine different approaches. Just a few of the accepted approaches are: Cognitive behavioral therapy . Clients are taught to make a connection between emotions and behaviors and learn to change their reaction patterns. Psycho-educational therapy . Family members are taught about mental health issues and given help in learning to deal with them in a more positive manner. Relationship counseling . The various relationships in the family are examined, and people are taught how to communicate in a more productive manner to resolve conflict. Trans-generational therapy . The patterns from current and past generations are examined to show how the past affects not only how individuals relate to each other today but also how they are likely to react in the future if a negative pattern isn’t broken. Systems therapy . This therapy is based on the concept that a family unit is much like any system. Each part is an individual, but all of the parts need to be working well for the system to work. If one family member is experiencing dysfunction, the entire family unit is affected.
Chapter 1: Becoming a Family Psychologist
Psychologists frequently deal with people who are at their worst emotionally.
home to their families and by the stigma against seeking help lessening. The median salary for a professional in this field is $50,090 per year, with those holding a PhD averaging over $82,000 per year.
Skills for Success as a Family Psychologist
In addition to the educational requirements you need to fulfill to become a family psychologist, there are many personality traits that will help in your success. Let’s look at some of the most important traits you should possess.
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