More than words

When people think about psychology and psychologists, generally two things will pop up in their minds: medications and talk therapy.

The first usually comes up because psychologists are often confused with psychiatrists , but also because, in other jurisdictions, they are allowed to prescribe medications.

The second one comes to mind because, in movies and sit-coms, we see psychologists as caricatures who spend their time prodding into the minds of vulnerable patients; patients  who, while relaxing on a couch (oops, we did it again), talk to their heart’s content, and pay exorbitant fees for this privilege.

Therefore, when people think about psychology, they are often skeptical, as they feel that psychology is nothing but talk, shrouded in complicated terminology, but ultimately a useless upper-class pastime.

In reality, psychology is “the study of […] how we think, feel and behave in our social and physical environments” (What is a Psychologist, 2009). Psychology is also a discipline playing an important role in the treatment and diagnosis of mental illness, as well as in the promotion of mental health.

Psychologists can use empirically validated talk therapies to help us cope with stressful events, recover from an illness, or adjust to permanent changes in our lives. They can help us improve our work environment and our productivity in measurable ways. Last but not least, they can give us a cost-effective alternative  to medical and pharmacological interventions.

As you follow this blog, you will come to appreciate what scientists working in mental-health-related disciplines have known for many years, and what our health care system seems not to have fully comprehended yet: that psychologists can offer so much more than words.

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