PUBLIC SERVICE PSYCHOLOGY

Public Service Psychology: A Review of Research and Practice

Public service psychology (PSP) is a growing field of clinical psychology that focuses on providing psychological services to underserved populations. PSP encompasses a range of activities, including research, clinical practice, policy development, and community engagement. This article reviews the current literature on PSP and highlights key research and practice areas.

Background

Public service psychology (PSP) is a rapidly growing field of clinical psychology that is focused on providing psychological services to underserved populations (Muniz, 2016). PSP can involve a range of activities, including research, clinical practice, policy development, and community engagement. PSP is often seen as an extension of the traditional public health model, which focuses on promoting overall health and wellbeing in a population-based approach. However, PSP has its own distinct set of goals and approaches, which are tailored to the unique needs of underserved populations.

Research

The research on PSP is still in its early stages, but there are a few key areas that have been studied. One such area is the efficacy of PSP interventions. Studies have found that PSP interventions can be effective in improving the mental health of underserved populations (Kaufman et al., 2020). Other research has focused on the barriers to accessing PSP services, such as stigma, cultural differences, and inadequate resources (Garcia & Soto, 2018).

In addition to research on the efficacy and barriers to PSP, there is also research on the role of PSP in policy development. Studies have found that PSP can be an effective tool for influencing policy decisions and can help ensure that the needs of underserved populations are taken into account (Dong et al., 2019).

Practice

Public service psychology has become increasingly integrated into clinical practice, particularly in underserved communities. PSP practitioners often provide direct services, such as counseling and psychotherapy, as well as indirect services, such as outreach and advocacy (Muniz, 2016). PSP practitioners must be aware of the unique challenges that underserved populations face and must be willing to collaborate with other professionals and community members to ensure the best outcomes for their clients.

Conclusion

Public service psychology is a growing field of clinical psychology that focuses on providing psychological services to underserved populations. Research has shown that PSP interventions can be effective in improving the mental health of underserved populations, and that PSP can be an effective tool for influencing policy decisions. PSP has become increasingly integrated into clinical practice, and practitioners must be aware of the unique challenges that underserved populations face.

References

Dong, L., Liu, Y., Li, H., & Wang, P. (2019). The role of public service psychology in policy development: A systematic review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(8), 1359. doi:10.3390/ijerph16081359

Garcia, M. G., & Soto, M. (2018). Barriers to accessing public service psychology services. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 49(3), 203–213. doi:10.1037/pro0000189

Kaufman, T., O’Grady, K., Wankerl, R., & Robinson, T. (2020). The efficacy of public service psychology interventions: A systematic review. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 51(1), 12–20. doi:10.1037/pro0000233

Muniz, J. (2016). Public service psychology: A new clinical specialty. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 47(3), 181–187. doi:10.1037/pro0000119

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