Some people fight battles inside their heads and ultimately end up sinking into them. In the contemporary times, there are many of us who struggle with mental illness, worse are the case with the ones who are terribly affected by it and are stuck in that situation. Psychologists are needed to solve the problems of such individuals and help them overcome their mental struggles. Born out of the broad domain of Psychology, Community Psychology is one such field targets the society in collective groups and strives to retain or help them attain better mental wellness. It was initially a sub-discipline included under the academic discipline of Psychology but then it emerged as a vital specialization which can pursued under master’s degree courses. Through this blog, we will take a look at what Community Psychology entails, what are the courses offered in this specialization and the career scope you can avail.
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Community Psychology Definition
Community Psychology comprises of the study of the social interactions of human beings and how society impacts a person as well as their community functioning. Further, it is concerned with the social issues, institutions as well as the environmental interactions that affect individuals, communities and organisations. As a science, it strives to comprehend the relationships between environmental situations and aims to ensure the health and well-being of every member of a community. It seeks to optimize the mental health of individuals and communities by utilising innovative and alternative interventions that are curated in collaboration with the impacted community members and by using various other interrelated concepts inside and outside of psychology.
What does a Community Psychologist do?
Based on the arena of one’s specialization and training, there are numerous employability options for a community psychologist. The most prevalent of these are professors, educators, consultants, evaluators, policy developers, program directors etc. Below are some of the major roles which community psychologist carry out:
- To promote wellness, they try to move beyond the traditional methods of ‘helping’.
- Candidates will be engaged in evaluating, implementing and result oriented researching in several communities.
- They have to build wholesome relationships with all the members of the community.
- To better understand the vast influences of environment on health and wellness, the researches are inherently scientific and take in various social factors as well.
- In order to understand and promote more and more participation, the psychologists have to critically analyze the workplaces and civic life.
- Community Psychology also strives to bring empowerment to the underprivileged people in the society.
Also Read: Masters in Psychology in Canada
Core value of a Community Psychologist
To excel in a field there are always some skills which are essential for delivering the best output. In the unique profession of a Community Psychologist, following are some of the key qualities you need to thrive in this career field:
- Excellent communication and behavioural skills to handle all sorts of patients.
- An analytical mindset to gauge and diagnose the problem carefully.
- Since community psychology is inherently rooted in ensuring societal wellbeing, individuals should be passionate about serving the community.
- Patience is required to handle the intricate and challenging cases of some patients.
- Thorough knowledge regarding the field so that candidates can provide an appropriate solution to respective problems.
Also Read: MSc Psychology
Career in Community Psychology: Major Profiles
Similar to the role of clinical psychologists, Community Psychologists also aim to work for the betterment of the mental as well as physical health of the people of a society. The basic difference between these two profiles is that a community psychologist works in groups and societies. For instance, a psychologist may diagnose mental illness in a person but a community psychologist will work alongside the individuals of a society, organization or workplace to make them attain greater mental peace and prevent them from any sort of mental disorders. Below mentioned are some of the career profiles you can explore under the domain of Community Psychology:
- Program Administrator: A Program Administrator carries out varied tasks in order to manage, serve and advocate a particular group in the community. Usually, the target of the administrator are those suffering from chronic diseases, are homeless or teenage mothers. With an expertise in the group and the research-based knowledge, you will be helping them in finding new ways to live life joyfully.
- Counsellors: There are many hidden issues in a society which may hamper the mental health of the masses, counsellors try to engage the members of a community in several activities that are focused on ensuring their mental wellbeing. They aim to locate those issues that are less talked about and strive to break the taboo around them and bring them to social acceptance.
- Federal or Local Government Executives: As Community Psychology is emerging as a crucial area of Psychology, a lot of beneficial programs involving community service are started by the government in collaborations with other organisations to improve the mental health of the folk. There are many designated groups comprising of community psychologists that work at local, state or federal levels.
Also Read: Clinical Psychology Courses
Career in Community Psychology: Areas
Since it is an emerging field, there is a growing need for specialized courses in Community Psychology. However, individuals wanting to build a career in this field can do so with a master’s degree in Psychology. Here is a list of major employment areas where you can opt for the career profile of a community psychologist:
- Hospitals and Clinics
- Early childhood
- Nursing Homes/ Assisted Living Centre
- Group Homes
- Federal, State and Local Government
- Rehabilitation Centres
- Non-Profit Organizations
- Schools, Colleges, Universities
Also Read: Psychology Universities in Canada
Thus, mental health is still considered as a taboo in our world and Community Psychology aims to eradicate it from its root by reaching out to communities and societies and helping them understand the importance of mental wellbeing. If you want to delve deeper into the field of Psychology and don’t know where to begin, take the help of Leverage Edu‘s AI tool to browse through a wide range of courses offered across the globe and find a suitable combination of a program and university that can equip you with the right knowledge and exposure to build a successful career in this scientific domain.