In my research, I utilize the complementary strengths of both quantitative and qualitative analytic methods to fully explore scholarly questions, often through interdisciplinary collaborations. I am also interested in exploring how graduate students are socialized for and participate in community engagement, as well as strategies for integrating engagement into the STEM fields. My goal with the book reviews in JCES will be to introduce readers to literature that advances knowledge, provides practical advice, disseminates best practices, and encourages conversation and dialogue.
Very few textbooks or journals, let alone societies devoted to the study of health psychology, existed prior to the late s to early s. By the twenty-first century, and our putting pen to paper for the production of this book, health psychology had matured significantly into its adolescence.
Psychological societies and associations around the world have their own divisions or sections devoted to the discipline. There is also a burgeoning and active European Health Psychology Society see www. Each of these societies have the general aim to study psychological processes of health, illness and well being in order to understand and implement the promotion and maintenance of health, to prevent illness and augment outcomes for those affected by illness, as well as to provide evidence that can be used to improve local and international healthcare systems and as such inform healthcare policy.
Major international journals have also been established to report specifically research related to the psychology of health e. Health Psychology and Psychology and Healthmany international and national conferences are organized so that researchers from around the world can converse about new and interesting findings and ideas, and it seems virtually infeasible to think that these days there are many universities around the world that do not offer courses or modules in health psychology.
From all this it would seem that academic health psychology is alive and kicking!
Health psychology as a pr ofession In parallel with the development of health psychology as an academic discipline providing applied empirical evidence for understanding psychological processes in health, there have also been significant moves in the maturity of health psychology as a profession.
This has resulted in the development of health psychology competencies and professional skills to Preface present the boundaries within which health psychologists should be expected to work and to which they should adhere.
These include research competencies e. An example of these competency requirements has been developed by the Division of Health Psychology within the British Psychological Society BPS and can been viewed at www.
Once a person has demonstrated these competencies to a governing body they can be approved as a professional health psychologist. In the UK achieving these competencies takes places via what is known as Stage 1 and Stage 2 training.
Stage 1 training involves the postgraduate study of the core theories, models, methods and evidence in health psychology and as such provides core knowledge.
This stage can be undertaken by successfully completing a BPS approved postgraduate qualification at a university. Stage 2 comprises supervised practice in which the individual is expected to show evidence of the core competencies e.
But the story does not end there. Being an effective, competent, professional health psychologist, or indeed any other professional, means that you have to keep abreast of new information, new intervention techniques, contemporary legislation, and the like, in order to maintain the highest standards of professional practice.
Among many other examples health psychologists work as part of a multidisciplinary team in clinical and research practice. It is not uncommon to find a health psychologist in healthcare services such as in medical departments.
They work in health promotion departments providing expert knowledge in the identification of core psychological factors that, for instance, lead people to behave in unhealthy ways, as well as having an important input into the design and evaluation of health promotion activities.Today is the day!
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