Applied Psychology

Psychology in practice



Applied psychology is the use of psychological principles and theories that are used to overcome real life problems and develop effective solutions.

Applied psychology is the use of psychological principles and theories that are used to overcome real life problems and develop solutions.  This can apply to many areas, such as mental health, business management, education, health, product design, ergonomics, and law.

Applied psychology also includes, and has been developed from, the areas of clinical psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, human factors, forensic psychology, engineering psychology, as well as many other areas such as educational psychology, sports psychology and community psychology.
In addition, a number of specialized areas in the general field of
psychology have applied branches (e.g., applied social psychology,
applied cognitive psychology).

Clinical psychology

Clinical psychology
in general includes the study and application of psychology for the purpose of
understanding, preventing, and relieving psychological distress
or dysfunction and to promote well-being and facilitating personal development.[1] Central to its practice are psychological assessment and psychotherapy,
although clinical psychologists may also engage in some research, teaching,
consultation, forensic testimony, and program development and
administration.[2] Some clinical psychologists focus on the clinical management of patients with brain and neural injury—this area is known as clinical neuropsychology. In many countries clinical psychology is a regulated mental health profession.

The work performed by clinical psychologists tends to be done inside
various therapy models, all of which involve a formal relationship
between professional and client—usually an individual, couple, family,
or small group—that employs a set of procedures intended to form a
therapeutic alliance, explore the nature of psychological problems, and
encourage new ways of thinking, feeling, or behaving. The four major
perspectives of applied psychology are Psychodynamic, Cognitive Behavioral, Existential-Humanistic, and Systems or Family therapy.
There has been a growing movement to integrate these various
therapeutic approaches, especially with an increased understanding of
issues regarding ethnicity, gender, spirituality, and
sexual-orientation. With the advent of more robust research findings
regarding psychotherapy, there is growing evidence that most of the
major therapies are about of equal effectiveness, with the key common
element being a strong therapeutic alliance.[3][4] Because of this, more training programs and psychologists are now adopting an eclectic therapeutic orientation.

Clinical psychologists do not usually prescribe medication, although there is a growing movement for psychologists to have limited prescribing privileges.[5]
In general, however, when medication is warranted many psychologists
will work in cooperation with psychiatrists so that clients get all
their therapeutic needs met.[2] Clinical psychologists may also work as part of a team with other professionals, such as social workers and nutritionists.

Industrial and organizational

Industrial and organizational psychology
focuses to varying degrees on the psychology of the workforce,
customer, and consumer, including issues such as the psychology of
recruitment, selecting employees from an applicant pool which overall
includes training, performance appraisal, job satisfaction, work behavior, stress at work and management.

Career counseling is another aspect of counseling closely related to
Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Counselors in this field assist
clients in a variety of settings ranging from schools to vocational to
organization sites to name a few. One of the main goals of the
profession is to help clients realize their talents and dreams in
response to a career and help them create successful job skills to then
apply to their career search. Many times career counselors act as
consultants to companies, other times they work as a team in academic
and career counseling capacities, and other times they work for a
social service agency specifically working with people who need
assistance in the job search process.

Generally a master’s degree is needed to get into the field. As
there are not many career counseling master’s programs, many enter the
field with a degree in mental health counseling or community counseling.

Since jobs are such defining experiences for people, having the
ability to gain helpful insight, tips, and encouragement from career
counselors is a definite benefit. The career counseling field can only
increase in popularity as people on average change jobs every ten
years, instead of 30 years ago where many people stayed with the same
company the majority of their working career.

Forensic psychology and legal psychology

Forensic psychology and legal psychology
are the area concerned with the application of psychological methods
and principles to legal questions and issues. Most typically, forensic
psychology involves a clinical analysis of a particular individual and
an assessment of some specific psycho-legal question. Legal psychology
refers to any application of psychological principles, methods or
understanding to legal questions or issues. In addition to the applied
practices, legal psychology also includes academic or empirical
research on topics involving the relationship of law to human mental
processes and behavior.

Health psychology

Health psychology concerns itself with understanding how biology, behavior, and social context influence health and illness.[6]
Health psychologists generally work alongside other medical
professionals in clinical settings, although many also teach and
conduct research. Although its early beginnings can be traced to the
kindred field of clinical psychology,
four different approaches to health psychology have been defined:
clinical, public health, community and critical health psychology.[7]
Health psychologists also aim to change health behaviors for the dual
purpose of helping people stay healthy and helping patients adhere to
disease treatment regimens. Cognitive behavioral therapy and behavior modification are techniques often used for this purpose.

Human factors

Human factors
is the study of how cognitive and psychological processes affect our
interaction with tools and objects in the environment. The goal of
research in human factors is to understand the limitations and biases
of human mental processes and behavior.

School Psychology

School Psychology is a field that applies principles of clinical psychology and educational psychology to the diagnosis and treatment of students’ behavioral and learning problems. School psychologists are educated in child and adolescent development, learning theories, psychological and psychoeducational assessment, personality theories,
therapeutic interventions, special education, psychology, consultation,
child and adolescent psychopathology, and the ethical, legal and
administrative codes of their profession.

According to Division 16 (Division of School Psychology), of the American Psychological Association
(APA) school psychologists operate according to a scientific framework.
They work to promote effectiveness and efficiency in the field. School
psychologists conduct psychological assessments, provide brief
interventions, and develop or help develop prevention programs.
Additionally, they evaluate services with special focus on
developmental processes of children within the school system, and other
systems, such as families. School psychologists consult with teachers,
parents, and school personnel about learning, behavioral, social, and
emotional problems. They may teach lessons on parenting skills (like
school counselors), learning strategies, and other skills related to
school mental health.
In addition, they explain test results to parents and students. They
provide individual, group, and in some cases family counseling (State
Board of Education 2003; National Clearinghouse for Professions in
Special Education, n.d.). School psychologists are actively involved in
district and school crisis intervention teams. They also supervise
graduate students in school psychology. School psychologists in many
districts provide professional development to teachers and other school
personnel on topics such as positive behavior intervention plans and
achievement tests.

School psychologists are influential within the school system and
are frequently consulted to solve problems. Practitioners should be
able to provide consultation and collaborate with other members of the
educational community and confidently make decisions based on empirical

Sport psychology

Sport psychology is a specialization within psychology that seeks to understand psychological/mental factors that affect performance in sports, physical activity and exercise and apply these to enhance individual and team
performance. It deals with increasing performance by managing emotions
and minimizing the psychological effects of injury and poor
performance. Some of the most important skills taught are goal setting,
relaxation, visualization, self-talk awareness and control,
concentration, using rituals, attribution training, and periodization.
The principles and theories may be applied to any human movement or
performance tasks (e.g., playing a musical instrument, acting in a
play, public speaking, motor skills). Usually, experts recommend that
students be trained in both kinesiology (i.e., sport & exercise sciences, physical education) and counseling.

Work in progress………….