The Role Of Psychologists In Health Care Delivery

Although its early beginnings can be traced to the field of clinical psychology, four different divisions within health psychology and one related field, occupational health psychology , have developed over time. The four divisions include clinical health psychology, public health psychology, community health psychology, and critical health psychology. Advanced credentialing in the US as a clinical health psychologist is provided through the American Board of Professional Psychology. Clinical health psychologists may be found in academic medical centers, hospitals, private practice, outpatient clinics, academia, government settings, or administration, among others. The common theme regardless of setting is involvement in the research, practice, or teaching of clinical health psychology. They help disabled individuals adapt to their situation, frequently they work with other health care professionals.

As an aging population requires more and more health treatments, professionals in health psychology are more and more in demand. Health psychology attempts to find treatments to reduce or eliminate pain, as well as understand pain anomalies such as episodic analgesia, causalgia, neuralgia, and phantom limb pain. Although the task of measuring and describing pain has been problematic, the development of the McGill Pain Questionnaire has helped make progress in this area.

This includes working with people with anxiety and depression, PTSD and trauma related recovery, relationship issues, family dysfunction, grief and loss, low self esteem and interpersonal difficulties and much more. Rosemary welcomes clients concerned with personal issues such as anger, stress, anxiety, and depression, self-esteem, phobias, adjustment, behavioural change, eating disorders, smoking cessation, grief and loss, and relationships. She also welcomes clients with workplace issues such as career development, motivation, performance, and interpersonal conflict. Sharon has been working as a psychotherapist and clinical psychologist for over thirty years with adults, university students and older adults.

Licensed health psychologists are qualified to treat patients in a clinical setting as well as consult for private or government agencies. Their knowledge and skills are applicable in hospitals, clinics, universities, private corporations and government offices. Employment at the bachelor’s level is limited, but some find work in community mental health offices or correctional facilities.

In hospitals and clinics, health psychologists might work to devise programs that promote improved emotional stability for critically or terminally ill patients and their families. Many health psychology services in this setting focus on reducing stress as well, or at the very least, offering healthy ways in which patients and their families can deal with the stressors involved with major illnesses. Taryn is also experienced in working with people with a range of chronic physical health conditions, including organic and functional gastrointestinal disorders, respiratory illnesses, diabetes, arthritis, cancers and persistent pain. Therapy aims to help people maintain function and important life roles, manage the emotional and psychological challenges that can accompany chronic illness, and engage well in medical care and management. There is a focus on reducing the burden of illness, improving resilience and coping, and increasing self-management. To practice as an independent psychologist in the U.S., a 5-year doctoral degree is necessary in clinical or counseling psychology.

There is a wide range of jobs, although the vacancies do not always use the job title ‘health psychologist’. Health psychologists work as applied psychologists, teachers, consultants and researchers for the NHS, the universities, schools, industry and health promotion organisations. Thus, to optimize overall health, it is necessary to address the health and wellness of mind, body, and spirit, rather than to focus solely on the physical components of health. This view consistent with the World Health Organization’s definition of health, that it is a “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” You’ll learn key transferable skills by carrying out observational placements in healthcare settings and dissertations that often involve delivery of an intervention. You’ll also carry out presentations, learn communication and interviewing skills and behaviour change techniques.

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