Just like any other field, professional psychology has undergone a lot of evolutions and changes that are deemed to affect its future in different ways. This piece of work discusses the future of professional psychology with much emphasis being given to the influence brought about by special populations on the field of professional psychology. There are various groups that can be considered as special populations in the field of professional psychology.
They include the children, people with mental and physical disabilities, hepatitis infected patients, pregnant mothers who have little or no access to healthcare or prenatal services, the minors and the elderly individuals with chronic diseases like cancer, drug addiction, diabetes and HIV/AIDS, those that suffer from cultural crisis, among others depending on the emerging problems that face individuals in the society.
The existence of these special populations has led to changes in the roles of the psychologists to encompass the needs.
There have been changes in the working grounds for the psychologists and the psychological services that they offer due to the changes in individual’s lives and the problems they encounter especially the special populations. This has definitely raised an alarm in the field of the professional psychology today.
The evolution in the field of professional psychology has been brought about by the extension and diversification of the practices into new areas that the psychologists never ventured into initially.
Some of the areas include forensic psychology, feminist psychology, child and family psychology, multicultural psychology, psychopharmacology, geropsychology, neuropsychology, rehabilitation psychology among others which touch on the different issues affecting people including the special populations (Levant, 2000).
The future of professional psychology has been influenced by the emergence of different special populations which, in a way has brought about changes in the professional practices with an aim of covering all the societal needs. It has also brought about the aspect of the redefinition of psychology, shifting it to primary health care from the original mental care.
This is because the professional psychologists are now concerned with other health care services apart from the initial concentration on mental health care.
Provision of primary health care would mean the psychologists offering their services to a bigger group of individuals who do not necessarily have access to mental health care and probably do not take their problems to be psychological, which is a requirement in the case of mental health care provision.
The future of professional psychology is bright as the psychologists are likely to take a front lead in health care provision working along with other medical practitioners like the nurses and physicians.
It is also likely that with their increased importance in the medical field, the psychologists will become the primary caregivers where they will be in charge of the initial steps of handling patients like diagnoses and dealing with their cases and only referring them to other medical practitioners where necessary or when they cannot handle the cases.
The future of professional psychology also depends on the ability of the psychologists to respond to significant health issues, for instance, public health and the needs of the society hence their increased participation in public policy issues.
The evolution in the field of professional psychology necessitates for changes in the education and training programs of the psychologists to encompass the new developments in the field (Levant, 2000).
Levant, F.R. (2000). The Future Evolution of Professional Psychology. Web.