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Health psychology

Over the years, due to the great power struggles between disciplines that took place throughout history,  many times we tend to stay with the concept that medicine is synonymous with health and psychology is synonymous with mind,  what which is a serious mistake. Within psychology we can find different branches that, although they study the behavior of the human mind , also move towards other broader areas of psychology. It is known that psychological processes and physiological processes – psychic health and physical health – are directly connected, so it is likely that if we feel physically ill this will interfere with our psychological health and vice versa.

What is health psychology?

Health psychology is an applied branch of psychology in general that deals with health care and emphasizes how an individual’s behavior interferes with their health . This psychological branch studies the subjective components of the health-disease process  and examines how biological, social and psychological factors influence this process. It is also dedicated to the study of the processes that participate in the determination of the state of health , such as: the risk of becoming ill, the disease situation itself and recovery.

This branch of psychology is constituted by a  broad model  that explores people’s motivations and develops useful activities for health promotion, disease prevention, care for the sick , care for people with sequelae and for the adequacy of health services. to the needs of those who receive it.

Health and illness are influenced by a wide variety of biopsychosocial factors. The origins of health psychology are based on the belief that every human being deserves adequate medical and psychological care, especially when problems -of any kind- and daily habits interfere with the behavior of the individual and contribute to the decline in health physical and psychological well-being.

Origins of health psychology

It raises a different clinical model from the traditional one and if we do a little memory we can find its origin in 1969 with the beginning of psychology in Cuba .

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It favored its creation:

  • Need to respond to the health needs of the entire population, the community.
  • Organization of a national health system with optimal geographic, economic, legal and cultural accessibility and a good organization of resources that take health as a right, as a responsibility of the State.
  • Creation of a network of services with different health areas, emphasizing the first level of care and the need to include psychological content in the training of health technicians.
  • Advances in applied thinking, going beyond psychometrics and psychodiagnosis.
  • Existence of professional psychologists with the capacity, motivation and creativity to reformulate tasks and objectives in the health sector.

Role of the health psychologist

The health psychologist fulfills various functions throughout an investigation. Among the most prominent and generally applied functions by the vast majority of health psychologists we can find:

  • It is responsible for promoting physical and mental health, preventing disease, and improving health care systems.
  • It studies the factors that allow people to be healthy, and focuses on understanding how people react to illness, recover from it, or cope with a severe or conical illness.
  • Provides its services to improve the health care system and health care policy.
  • It fosters spaces that go towards motivation for health care and the early detection of  psychosocial risk factors.
  • Works interdisciplinary with other healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive healthcare.
  • Conduct applied research on how to prevent unhealthy behaviors.
  • Incorporates psychological theory into research to develop methods that help people maintain healthy lifestyles.
  • Explore ways to motivate people to make better decisions about their health. For example, they can help smokers to kick this unhealthy and destructive habit.
  • Educates and informs patients about their body and their disease, providing them with tools so that they can take control of their health themselves. For example, stress management tools and relaxation techniques .
  • Helps prevent clinical pictures of eating disorders, such as obesity, bulimia and anorexia . Conditions that can be generated by psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression .

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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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