Psychology in the 21st Century
There is absolutely no doubt that Psychology is a discipline with a bright future. Psychology in the 21st century is somewhat different than it was in the last century, or at least different than what it was 30 to 40 years ago. Then, the major applied areas were clinical psychology, counseling psychology, school psychology, and industrial psychology/organizational psychology. Today, in addition to those areas, there are many newer areas and applied areas and subareas such as health psychology, family psychology, rehabilitation psychology, neuropsychology, clinical geropsychology, pain management and psychopharmacology, among others.
There is a noticeable increase in securing the knowledge of psychologists in sports. Another emerging area for psychologists is the protection of the nation. Psychological experts will be needed to examine the motivation and intents of the terrorists. There are congressional representatives on Capitol Hill who have been instrumental in advocating for mental illnesses to educate the members of Congress and their staff about PTSD and other challenges faced by many armed service members. There are others who are advocating providing comprehensive services to victims of trafficking women and children. Psychology is also at the forefront of illness prevention, rather than focusing merely on diagnosing and treating disorders. Psychologists are at the forefront of contributing solutions to the problems of drug addiction, poor interpersonal relationships, and violence at home and in the schools, and the potential harm we do to our environments.
Sports psychologists as a group often consult to local professional teams to ensure their peak performance and to assist the players’ in adjusting to being away from family responsibilities during training camps.
Psychologists are also needed to share their expertise in the protection of the nation. To meet this need, the University of Maryland established a Homeland Security Center of Excellence, which will span both domestic and international issues. Areas of work for psychologists will include examining the sources of terrorism and responses to it; analyzing the psychological impact of terrorism on society and increasing American public’s resilience in the face of threats. Psychological experts will be needed to examine motivation and intents of terrorists so as to formulate counter response strategies.
Psychology is playing a great role not just in diagnosing and treating of disorders, but has begun to focus on illness prevention as well. Psychologists strive to help people learn how to make healthy behavior a routine part of everyday living. Indeed many difficulties facing society today are problems about behavior: for instance drug addiction, poor interpersonal relationships, violence at home, in the schools, and in the street, and the potential harm we do to our environment. Psychologists are at the forefront in contributing solutions to these problems because of their extensive training in collecting and analyzing data as well as in developing intervention strategies.
It is evident that Psychology in the times ahead will expand to new frontiers, as it has already begun taking great strides in areas unforeseen three to four decades back.