8 Careers In Health Psychology
In dealing with such problems, they are also trained and skilled to use several psychological, psychodiagnostic and psychotherapeutic techniques which help and affect the abilities of individuals to function in diverse settings and roles. In addition, they help people to modify their behavior and lifestyle so as to prevent and recover from health problems. Advances in psychological, medical, and physiological research have led to a new way of thinking about health and illness. This conceptualization of health and illness has many scientific and practical benefits. Health psychology is the study of psychological and behavioral processes in health, illness, and healthcare. It is concerned with understanding how psychological, behavioral, and cultural factors contribute to physical health and illness.
However, generally, the best job opportunities are reserved for individuals with a doctorate/licensure. Furthermore, in most states, licensure is mandatory for counseling services and independent practice. Graduate programs in health psychology typically include a clinical, counseling, or a research-focused track. Graduate programs vary widely in terms of the credit hours and length of study, from around 30 semester credits and two to three years of study in some programs, to more than 60 semester credits and three to five years of study. The sub-field of critical health psychology deals primarily with the way in which finances and power impact an individual’s experience of health. There is much emphasis on broad-based sociopolitical issues that heavily determine one’s level of health and access to healthcare, including racism, sexism, poverty, and political oppression.
Counseling psychologists then help people to adjust to change or make changes in their lifestyle. They assist individuals and groups in areas related to personal wellbeing, interpersonal relationships, work, recreation, health, and crisis management. They may practice independently or work with clinical psychologists, child psychologists, and health psychologists or as academic counselors. After completing a bachelor’s degree in psychology, students will need to complete a master’s degree or Phd in psychology. A master’s degree in psychology is recommended for individuals seeking upper-level career opportunities in business, consulting and the health care system.
Health psychologists that work independently, either as a consultant or in a clinical private practice will make the highest salary, possibly even well above the $100,000 per year mark. There are many health psychologists that work in the field of public policy as well. In this capacity, health psychologists focus on addressing important issues in the healthcare sector. This might involve advising stakeholders on necessary improvements to the healthcare system, such as improving access to underserved groups. It might also involve lobbying efforts in order to get legislation passed that would help achieve desired improvements in the delivery of healthcare to the nation’s people. For example, health psychologists would have played in integral role in the development, passage, and implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Those in government, industry and university settings typically work during business hours. Health psychologists help us understand fundamental questions about our minds and bodies and devise treatments to promote health and prevent illnesses. They conduct research into why people ignore sound advice and continue bad habits. With a fully online degree program, you can acquire the training you need on your schedule. Today, Matarazzo’s proposal to reduce healthcare expenditures is still relevant.
Individuals interested in health psychology careers will often find that there are a number of employment opportunities in a variety of different organizations. Many medical schools offer medical psychology integrated into a medical degree program. Although certain aspects beliefs of health psychology were recognized since the beginning of the psychology movement, it wasn’t until the late 1970’s that it was recognized as a separate branch of psychology. It was around this time that Stephen Weiss, Joseph Matarazzo, and several other psychology professionals sponsored a petition to create a new health psychology division in the American Psychology Association . Because of their efforts, over 600 other psychology professionals signed the petition, and in 1978, Division 38 of the APA – the Health Psychology Division – was created.