Category: Psychology

The Place of Spirituality In Psychology

The Place of Spirituality In Psychology

The field of psychology encompasses many aspects that must be dealt with on a daily basis. Psychologists and others working in the field are often faced with moral dilemmas that may cause them to question the place of morals and spirituality in psychology. Those who practice some form of religion may use their specific values and morals when it comes to finding resolutions in these situations. There still lies the question of whether religion has a place in the day-to-day practice of psychology and if so, where to draw the line.

In part, psychology is considered a science. Though it is not exact in all situations, it does carry with it various similarities to science where theories and decision making are concerned. Ethics play a big role in psychology for both the roles of the psychologist or psychological professional conducting evaluations and providing treatment and the client or patient receiving the services or treatment. The code of ethics was put into place to protect both parties involved. Ethics is based on right and wrong and, can therefore be closely related to morality in many instances. Because of this, it can be argued that religion plays a role in the ethical decisions that are made everyday. Though the code of ethics does not specifically site religion as a part of what is contained there in, various aspects of morality and common values are found.

Spirituality as a whole has become even more prevalent in the field of psychology over the past several years as evidenced by the number of Christian counseling centers that have opened around the country. The professionals working in these settings offer what some say is the perfect combination of treatment, psychology based on Christian values and beliefs. Here the psychological principles and ethics are used with various aspects of religious values and beliefs interwoven into the treatment plans. Patients are often counseled on how spirituality can help them through their difficult situations. In these settings, professionals strive to find a balance between psychology and religion, a challenging task at times. Psychology is based on various principles, theories and ethics while religion is based mostly on faith. Psychological issues are proven in a scientific way while a good part of religion is based on belief in the unseen. While many people don’t question their faith, it can be difficult to intermingle what can be physically seen with what cannot. This causes many people to question the place of spirituality in psychology.

Because faith is often questioned, it has become necessary to receive proof. This proof often comes in the form of answers that are a direct result of the testing of ideas (Myers). When ideas are tested and found to be correct, faith is easier to maintain; however, then they do not survive the test, faith can become a very shaky prospect. When this principle is applied to psychology, the outcome can change on a regular basis. Different situations call for different ideas which may or may not prove to work. Also, what works in one situation may prove impossible in another. The key to understanding where spirituality fits in is knowing how to apply it to each individual situation and idea and make determinations and assessments based on the information that is gathered and the particular values that are relevant to the end result.

To better understand where religion fits into the psychological realm, let’s take a closer look at the human attributes that make up each. Where religion is concerned there is the theological wisdom. This deals with the acceptance of divine love in order to enable individuals to accept themselves. Psychological wisdom, however, deals with self-esteem, optimism and personal control (Myers). The ability to use the two together to make important decisions will provide the freedom to use what we know, admit what we don’t and search for the answers. Because we are both the creatures and creators of our own social world, people and situations matter (Myers). While ultimate control lies beyond us, we carry responsibility for making important decisions that have a lasting effect on us as well as others.

Psychologists face these dilemmas everyday. They must make important decisions that will directly effect their patients. Each decision is made on an individual basis and is dependent on each specific situation and its own set of circumstances. Each decision will carry with it a separate set of ethical issues and dilemmas and the solution will remain unique to each. Religion is said to heal people while medicine was designed to do the same. The two often work in different contexts, but it can be argued that medicine was discovered because of ideas and values based on religious beliefs. Because of this, it is believed in many situations the two are used together to come up with treatment plans that will be both effective and long lasting.

In many ways, people who have great faith have found the insights and critical analyses of psychology to be supportive of the understanding they possess of human nature. Their assumption that religion is conducive to happiness and good health is also attributed in great part to psychology. The science of psychology offers principles that can be applied to the construction of messages that will prove both memorable and persuasive. Here the tasks of peacemaking and reconciliation are promoted in a way that offers solutions that will provide the means by which others can achieve happiness by establishing healthy relationships (Myers). While the science may challenge our way of thinking, the same can be said of religion. Faith is often questioned in an effort to find answers. This has proven to be helpful in many situations where the answer wasn’t clearly defined. Here, the science of psychology is used along with the religious beliefs to find solutions to problems that seemingly have no immediate or clear resolution. Still, faith is not always a negative aspect of psychology.

A strong value and belief system can help a psychologist working as a professional in the field deal with situations where the traditional psychological theories aren’t showing a definite answer. Here the process is reversed because religion is used to clarify a particular set of circumstances based on the lack of information that can be gathered at a given time. There are also times where one can support the other. Religious beliefs are often used to support the reasoning behind many ethical situations whereas psychology is often used to prove various religion based ideas. This is where the two can be used in tandem to come up with a truly unique solution that will work.

It has also been argued that faith plays an important role in a psychologist’s ability to use the information found in the code of ethics and psychological practices that are present everyday. This is based on the belief that people who possess strong faith are better able to understand the science of psychology because they can use the two together to come up with answers that are suited to each new set of circumstances. Here psychologists are not heavily relying on either faith or science, but instead are using them both to gain a better understanding of the situation as a whole. Those who believe in the contents of the code of ethics understand its importance and why it must play a role in psychology on a daily basis (Kafka). Those who possess strong religious beliefs usually strive to use them everyday when making ethical decisions and are often working toward an outcome built on both science and faith. Still there is a very important line between when to use the science of psychology and when to rely on the beliefs and values that often assist many in making daily life decisions.

When it comes to the co-mingling of psychology and spirituality, each has its own place. The scientific aspects of psychology are necessary in order to solve a wide range of problems and provide successful treatment to those in need. Still, spirituality can play a very important role in the rehabilitation of patients by making it easier to understand the psychological ramifications and why they exist. Spirituality and science can be used both during and after treatment. During treatment, religious beliefs may guide both the psychologist and patient toward making the right decisions and understanding difficult situations along the way. After treatment, religion can continue to help the patient as he or she moves onward through life while the scientific aspect may still remain present in the form of ongoing counseling or use of medication.

Psychologists can use both in their profession to make difficult decisions and deal with hard to solve problems. Aspects of each can be relied upon to provide the means by which to draw important conclusions that may help throughout the entire treatment process. Evidence has also shown that psychologists who know their profession but also possess strong religious beliefs are able to help their patients throughout treatment by passing on various virtues that promote positive thinking (Myers).

The end results of melding together both science and spirituality have been studied for a number of years. Some argue psychology should remain only a science while others feel the intertwining of science with religion can only serve to improve the overall outcome of treatment situations. The argument is also made that science as a whole has strong ties to religion and the two often give cause for the questioning of each other. Science can often prove what religion cannot and religion was the basis for the need to know, thus people began studying the how and why of scientific matters (Myers).

Some have explained the boundaries between psychology and religion by bringing up a few points that express how one relates to the other. One point is the correlation of scientific ideas presented in everyday human nature to religion and being able to site the information to show how it is all related. Another important point is the link between religion, prejudice, altruism and overall well-being (Myers).

When dealing with various psychological situations, it is just as important to realize the importance of the science as it is the religion. This is often difficult to do because of the differing beliefs and values possessed by each professional working in the field. Because of this, it is necessary for each to make decisions based on the psychological code of ethics along with the specific circumstances of each given situation. For those who are religious, spirituality will most likely play a role in the decision making process in a professional setting because it very likely does in any other. Those who utilize spirituality in day-to-day situations often rely on it to guide them in their professions. Though the psychological code of ethics may not have been created based specifically around the religious beliefs and values directly associated with spirituality, there are many similarities between ethical dilemmas and resolutions and those of a moral nature.

Correlations have also been reported between faith and subjective well-being. One example of this can be found in a National Opinion Research Center survey of 42,00 Americans that was conducted after 1972. Here 26 percent who never attended religious services reported being very happy while 47 percent of those participating in spiritual services on a regular basis, sometimes more than weekly reported also being very happy (Myers). Though this does not sho3w a direct link between religion and well-being, it does indicate that many people seek spirituality in various aspects of their lives. Whether the science of psychology and spirituality should be co-mingled in a professional setting can be a bit subjective as it is dependent upon the differing situations and those directly involved in the treatment processes. While there are correlations between the ethical code used by psychological professionals everywhere and the morality associated with religion, the two remain separate and can be called upon in any given situation where they may be deemed necessary or important. The code of ethics is used every day in the psychological setting, but whether or not spirituality is involved may be up to each professional working in the field.

REFERENCES

Code of Ethics: Understanding the Professional Conduct of Psychologists. Taken from http://clinical-psychology.suite101.com/article.cfm/psychologist_as_professional

Myers, David G. Psychological Science Meets the World of Faith. Taken from http://psychologicalscience.org/observer/getArticle.cfm?id=1861.

For more information, please contact Dr. Joseph Coleman at jcoleman05@bellsouth.net or via phone at (504) 621-0966 (504) 621-0966

Top 10 Psychology Schools

Top 10 Psychology Schools

The following top 10 psychology schools are some of the best in the nation for future psychologists and related professionals. Jobs in this field are highly in demand and degrees from this institution will put you in the best position for the top careers.

Harvard University: Harvard’s prestigious school of psychology opened in the 1800s, nearly two centuries after the university was founded, and it is still one of the top graduate level psychology programs in the U.S. and around the world.
Stanford University: Stanford ranks first in the psychology field according to many respected rating systems, which is no surprise considering the school’s 17 psychology research laboratories and five respected professors.
University of California – Berkeley: This Bay Area school is a top 10 choice for many different subject areas, including psychology.
University of California – Los Angeles: UCLA has long been known as one of the top 10 psychology schools, and its campus is located in the beautiful L.A. neighborhood of Westwood.
University of California – San Diego: UCSD is known for excellence in the psychology curriculum, particularly in regards to its experimental psychology program.
The University of Illinois: Ever since the program was founded in 1893, the psychology courses at this Midwest school have offered a wide variety of choices including industrial-organizational, biological, developmental, clinical and quantitative.
University of Michigan: This is one of the top 10 psychology schools for many reasons, including the variety of programs and the incredible lectures that the school hosts.
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities: This school’s psychology department was founded in 1919, which is relatively young compared to some schools, but they were quick to rank among some much larger and older schools as one of the top 10 psychology schools in the nation.
University of Pennsylvania: This is where you will find the oldest psychology department in North America, which has produced some of the nation’s preeminent psychologists.
Yale University: There is no denying that Yale is a top school for any program, including psychology. Specializations are offered in cognitive psychology, neuroscience, clinical and developmental psychology.

Get more information about top psychology schools and psychology colleges on PsychologySchoolsU.com. Browse the site and search for best psychology schools, psychology degree programs and choose the best degree programs for you and start career in the field of psychology.
PhD Psychology Online Course: 3 Suggestions To Turbo Charge Your Career

PhD Psychology Online Course: 3 Suggestions To Turbo Charge Your Career

Interested to know how a PhD psychology online course will let you improve your profession life?

To acquire a better position within the field of psychology, you need to have a valid training behind you. As you are already working as a psychologist, you just need a higher degree to prove that you’re worth the position you want.

These kind of career ideas for your future is not a bad thing, but wait, how are you going to implement it? Possessing big dreams of a lucrative future is not bad, putting into action the means to make the dreams real is the challenge.

A great deal of working psychologists have the dilemma of whether or not they will follow their higher degree studies or not. They could not afford to stop their practice just so they could pursue their postgrad studies.

Well, if you are one of those psychologists, it seems that you are still in the dark ages because you still have not met or have come across a PhD psychology online course. Yes, nowadays there are online courses like a PhD psychology online course you could register in to have that necessary certification for the next level position.

How will you obtain a PhD psychology online course? Here are some simple tips that you could apply for you too elevate your profession with a PhD psychology online course easily.

1. Head to your computer and input PhD psychology online course in the search engine of your browser. The outcome are going to be with you in a few seconds. Because of the growth of online courses, it is not challenging a lot of results.

2. Study the top online psychology colleges that you will get in the final results. Without a doubt, you will find Walden, Argosy and Chicago School of Professional Psychology among the top online psychology colleges. Navigate to the website of every top online psychology colleges and investigate their curriculum, faculty and former pupils to help you with your want to earn a PhD psychology online course.

3. Check out the accreditation of the online psychology colleges which you have in your list. See which ones adheres to the prerequisites of the accrediting agencies. When the online college is accredited, without a doubt you get the best PhD psychology online course. This can be achieved by checking out the accreditation body’s website and see if the online psychology college claims matches the info in the accrediting agency’s website.

Earn your PhD psychology online course today and have the better job you wish! Supercharge your career with a PhD psychology online course now.

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What Is Psychology?

What Is Psychology?

Having some kind of idea of psychology is essential for anybody with a keen interest in the subject topic wishing to explore it in greater depth. Now, this may sound fairly obvious, but psychology itself, is a term generally misunderstood as most individuals band the term around without any real idea of its actual meaning.

The classic example is the usual response that someone who teaches psychology would get if they told an individual, namely, “I better be careful what I say” or “so do you know what I’m thinking then?” Acknowledging how damn right silly these comments are, the only plausible response would be “Absolutely” or “Not at all, but then I would say that, wouldn’t I”.

It is most certainly a serious point, because it seems as though there is a great deal of confusion surrounding psychology. Indeed, you can even meet psychology students that are coming towards the end of their degree programme confess that they still aren’t completely sure what psychology is.

There are numerous branches of psychology, notably are:

1. Clinical & Counseling Psychology

A psychologist in this field deals with the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of individuals with psychological problems.

2. Forensic Psychology

A psychologist specialized in forensic uses the knowledge of psychology in various form such as consulting with attorneys, treating mentally ill offenders and analyzing a criminal’s intent mindset.

3. Sport Psychology

The analysis of how the mental factors influence the an individuals performance in sport, exercise and physical activity.

Psychology Definitions

To help create clarity around the meaning of psychology, let’s take a look at a couple of definitions.

Psychology is essentially the scientific study of people, the behavior and mind. It is both a professional practice and a thriving academic discipline. (The British Psychological Society) The scientific study of an individual’s behavior and mental processes. (American Psychological Association)

The common theme around the definition of psychology is fundamentally concerned with the understanding of behavior.

So what is the Problem?

Basically, lack of oneness, within psychology there are numerous and often competing levels of explanations, when it comes to the understanding of human behaviour. When you begin to study psychology you’ll soon realize what a disparate subject area it is and at many times how overwhelming it can be.

Keeping It Simple

Especially when you first start out, just keep hold of the idea that psychology is basically about human behavior. You can not expect to know all the different methods of explaining behavior right away, but as you get more and more into it, you will find that you will soon be able to place a real behavioral explanation within a psychological framework.

If you would like to find more information and resource links on all the major branches and sub-divisions within psychology, you can do so by visiting http://www.insightempire.com/Psychologylessonplans/

Not to be confused with Psychiatry

A very common mistake about psychology, is that it is similar, if not, virtually synonymous with psychiatry. It most certainly is not. Psychiatry is a medical specialization (all psychiatrists are degree educated) that is concerned solely with mental disorders. Psychology is much broader in question and is not linked solely to the study of mental illnesses.

Uchenna Ani-Okoye is an internet marketing advisor and co founder of Free Affiliate Programs For more information and resource links on psychology visit: Psychology Lesson Plans
Pursuing A Masters In Psychology

Pursuing A Masters In Psychology

The importance of psychology in life cannot be taken for granted. Psychology is the science that deals with human behavior as well as that of the non human. Though the course is only 125 years old, it is needed in almost in all spheres of life. Its study has its roots in biology to sociology, trying to seek a relationship between the brain functions and the behavior or the relationship between the environment and the behavior. Since the subject is so vast, there is therefore a need for specialization. As mentioned earlier, psychology touches many aspects of life and so there are various fields of study. These fields are studied in detail at the masters level.

Since 1960, there has been an increase in the students who pursue a masters in psychology. There is competition for jobs which are psychology related and so more and more students are joining the courses. In fact, it has been observed that more than two thirds of the students graduating with a masters in psychology get jobs on field, which are outside psychology and only about one third are employed in jobs which are directly related to psychology. A large number of those employed after graduating with a masters in psychology work on data collection and analysis in various firms and institutions, both in the government circles and the private sector.

There are various subfields of psychology where one can specialize. For example, one can study masters to be a Clinical Psychologist. Here one can deal with emotional and behavioral disorders. There is also Cognitive and perceptual psychologists who study human perception, thinking, and memory and often work closely with behavioral neuroscientists to explain clearly the bases of perception or cognition from the biological perspective. One can also study to be Developmental psychologists to be able to solve issues dealing with the psychological development in people throughout their lives. Educational psychology is another field which is quite popular today. Here you learn how to enhance teaching and learning.

Other areas one can do a master include Engineering psychology, Evolutionary Psychology, Experimental psychology, Forensic psychology, which tries to solve legal issues by applying psychological principles and Health psychology which is a study of how biological, psychological, and social factors affect health and illness. There is also industrial & organizational psychology where one can learn how to improve productivity in areas of work by employing psychological principles and research methods. There are many other areas too.

There are many universities in the USA which offer masters in psychology and one can opt for the course within the preferred specialization. The course normally takes two years. One should be a graduate holding a bachelors degree with a related subject. Some universities may enroll any student from any faculty but it’s always advisable to take a masters in psychology if you have a related bachelor’s degree.

For detailed information on pursuing a Masters of Psychology and the best schools to apply to for any given psychological field go to http://www.masters-psychology.com