Published: January 31, 2020
The way we navigate the world is influenced by a wide range of factors, including our family dynamics, neighborhood, and schools — more simply, our community. Having a robust knowledge of community and psychology can help those who face injustice as a result of ill-equipped communities.
By merging these two concepts — community and psychology — professionals in the field can be good resources for people seeking to understand the ways in which their community has influenced, hindered, or helped them become who they are.
What is community psychology?
Community psychology is the study of how people relate to their communities and how an individual’s community has played a role in affecting their personhood. Those working in this field conduct research on community issues, analyze data, and make recommendations for interventions that will help improve community wellness.
If you’d like to play a role in this type of work, then perhaps community psychology is something to consider. Below are four possible careers you might pursue following the completion of a community psychology degree!
Residential caseworker, also regarded as social workers, aim to treat people individually or as a family unit. Depending on your licensure and education, residential caseworkers aim to better the mental health of their clients and patients.
Some studies suggest a link between low-income, impoverished communities and mental health disorders. These professionals can survey the needs of a community and make efforts to ensure that their treatment addresses the ways an individual, family, or group’s surroundings have played a role in their mental health difficulties.
Behavioral interventionists (BI) work to assist those suffering from harmful behaviors and provide tools and strategies to encourage healthier behaviors. BIs may work at schools, health agencies, counseling centers, and more. Depending on the age group BIs work with, they may help clients with learning disabilities, stress, substance abuse, or any impairments or difficulties that are affecting their day-to-day behavior.
Even for those who have little experience, becoming a counselor can offer a wide range of career options in a myriad of landscapes. One can work in schools, including colleges. Counselors may also work with those experiencing substance abuse or other mental health disorders. Whether you’re hoping to help a student reach their career goals or work with an individual to set goals, your efforts as a counselor can provide your clients with a roadmap to living a better life.
A community programs director (CPD) creates and oversees opportunities, programs, and activities for the community in which he or she belongs. As a CPD, you might work to fill holes where the community could be better served and equipped.
This career stretches slightly outside of the community psych education as, in some iterations of this profession, it requires knowledge of budgeting, promotion, public relations, and communication. While some of these skills are covered in your education, it may be a good idea to branch outside your psych domain to best serve the community you’re working for.
However you want to use your community psychology degree, you’ll help make strides toward bettering communities and their members. Your efforts can enrich the world one community at a time.
Looking for more information about community psychology and its real-life applications? Take a look at our Informational Guide to Community Psychology!