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General idea of applied psychology and psychological practice
Psychological problems permeate our whole life, that is, a psychologist can find application in almost all spheres of human life and not only humans (as you know, psychologists study the lives of animals, birds, fish, microorganisms, holistic ecological systems, etc.). But here immediately questions arise: who determines what problems a psychologist should deal with and which ones should not (otherwise it turns out that all problems connected with a person should be solved only by psychologists, and in other professions the need simply disappears).
Slobodchikov Viktor Ivanovich - Doctor of Psychology, Director of the Institute of Pedagogical Innovations of the Russian Academy of Education. Isaev Evgeny Ivanovich - Doctor of Psychology, specialist in the field of designing the psychological education of teachers (Tula State Pedagogical University named after L. N. Tolstoy).
how should a psychologist solve existing psychological problems, does he only determine the forms, methods and conditions of his work?
In order to bring some clarity to such questions, V. I. Slobodchikov and E. I. Isaev distinguish two understandings of “practical psychology”:
1) practical psychology as an “applied discipline”, the feature of which is “orientation toward the academic research psychology of the natural science type”;
2) practical psychology as a “special psychological practice”, where the main orientation is not on the study of the psyche, but on “work with the psyche” (see Slobodchikov, Isaev, 1995.- S. 113-115).
In addition to the development of such a division, the following can be added: “applied psychology”, even by its name, is oriented toward helping in solving those tasks that the psychologist has already set for his “customers”.
For example, the leadership of a company. Here, the psychologist is, as it were, given “in addition” (“attached”) to already working specialists, that is, he, as it were, helps these specialists better perform their functions. With this understanding, a psychologist can really realize himself in a wide variety of areas of production.
We can distinguish, along with some of the above, about the following list of areas where the psychologist can find application for himself:
1. Space psychology, where the psychologist can research and shape the readiness of future cosmonauts to carry out their flights, as well as develop recommendations for optimizing the training of astronauts, providing medical and psychological rehabilitation after flights, etc.
2. Aviation psychology aimed at optimizing the psychological working conditions of pilots, airport controllers, and other flight services employees.
3. Industrial (production) psychology and the psychology of management close to it (organizational psychology). Note that it is theoretically possible to distinguish “one's own”, specific psychology for each branch of production (construction psychology, metallurgical psychology, etc.). True, practically such a selection is not always done. Sometimes, as a separate area, the psychology of management, the psychology of entrepreneurial activity, etc.
4. Medical psychology and pathopsychology, where one of the important aspects is the construction of relationships between psychologists and doctors. True, traditionally in this area of psychology more attention is paid to the study of the patients themselves.
5. Pedagogical psychology (psychological characteristics of education for both children and adults, as well as problems of continuous and advanced professional
education). As one of the options for educational psychology, school psychology stands out.
6. Legal and legal psychology, which faces particularly difficult problems in the context of a truly “non-legal state” infected with the idea of corruption and permissiveness (including among the law enforcement agencies themselves).
7. Psychology of tourism and leisure activities.
8. Some time ago (in the early 80s - the time of the Olympic Games in Moscow) sports psychology was very popular in the USSR.
9. Psychology of mass communications and advertising.
10. Political psychology, where the psychologist has recently been in demand in various respects, including the organization of election campaigns and inter-party political struggle.
11. Military psychology, where the activities of a psychologist are very diverse, including in connection with the events taking place in “hot spots”, and the need to prepare fighters for activities in extreme situations and psychological assistance to them during and after the service.
In all these and other cases, the psychologist has, on the one hand, not to lose his specific subject (psyche, subjectivity of a person), and on the other hand, to take into account the specifics of work in the industry that he serves. Proceeding from this, the applied psychologist over time is forced to more and more research, and in some cases join in the production environment where he is trying to optimize the collective activity of workers. Thus, he actually gradually turns into an integral participant in the production process and becomes a real member of this labor collective (since without it the collective will no longer be able to work effectively). That is why psychologists are increasingly being invited to work (permanent work) in various companies and organizations. The psychologist working in the organization, as a rule, does not determine strategic tasks himself, but he independently sets and realizes tactical and operational tasks.
Note that in serious organizations usually works not one, but several psychologists. In addition, when solving complex problems (associated, for example, with the reorganization of a company), both own psychologists (internal consultants) and invited ones (external consultants) are usually involved in the work. All this allows together (together with quite experienced leadership) to correctly set tasks and solve them. Nevertheless, the problem of a “competent customer” remains, since experienced managers sometimes also have some bias and some distrust of psychologists. Therefore, in reality, the applied psychologist sometimes has to take on a slightly greater responsibility and to declare the strategic problems and goals of his work himself, at the same time forming the psychological culture of his bosses - production workers and customers.
A somewhat different picture develops when we talk about practical psychology as a "special psychological practice." Here, the psychologist usually works with clients who are more likely to trust the psychologist as a specialist. In these cases, the psychologist independently sets himself strategic tasks (the client trusts him to a large extent in this), and tactical and specific operational tasks of research and intervention in the situation of this client.
In a sense, the responsibility of such work for a psychologist is higher than in cases of solving applied problems, since the psychologist is more likely to be the subject of his own activity.
Practical psychology, as an industry specially singled out by psychologists and in need of special scientific justification, has been developing in Russia for the past fifteen to twenty years (especially actively in the 90s).
Due to a number of objective circumstances (the totalitarian regime and, as a consequence, the persecution of psychology, the desire at one time to replace the subject of psychological science with the subject of reflexology and physiology, etc.), in domestic practical psychology, a serious lag behind Western countries can still be fixed. Domestic psychology has long been an academic science that was engaged in research, but not the solution of real psychological problems of specific people.
Almost all domestic schools of practical psychology rely on theoretical concepts that have come to us from the West, and the very forms of psychological work in most cases are still modifications of foreign models. However, many forms of practical psychological work originated in our country. Practical psychology in Russia has its own traditions. It can perhaps be argued that elements of the methods of practical psychology were actively used in our country as early as the twenties and thirties. It is, first of all, about a kind of “psychotechnical boom” of the first post-revolutionary decades, when methods of professional selection and professional consultations, psychological rationalization of vocational education were studied and put into practice, special simulators were created and methods of psychological impact on the group were developed. The first business games were created, which became much later the components of many trainings.
Another direction that implemented psychological methods in social practice was the pedology that arose in the USA and was widely spread in Western Europe and Russia (literal translation is the science of the child), which advocated a comprehensive approach to the child, using the means of various sciences, and claimed the role of “meta-science”. Domestic pedagogical laboratories and sections, quite in the spirit of the times, tried to develop methods and techniques for diagnosing and developing individual children and school groups in accordance with the ideas of forming a new person.
Many educational systems of those years are literally full of examples of the emergence of psychotechnologies, which later turned out to be in demand (though in a slightly different form) in the psychological practice of the West. A vivid illustration of the foregoing is a series of techniques used in group work with homeless
Makarenko Anton Semenovich (1888-1939) - an outstanding domestic teacher and writer. He made a significant contribution to domestic pedagogical and social psychology, creating the theory of personality development in the team.
Kami A.S. Makarenko. (An analysis of the developed “communard method” developed much later makes it easy to isolate elements of effective methods of psychological influence in it; it is no accident that A. S. Makarenko referred to the experience and borrowed a lot from there, the creator of the leading Russian psychotherapeutic school V. N. Myasishchev).
Soviet psychology in the early stages of its development was very susceptible to the ideas of foreign researchers. One of the most attractive concepts at that time was certainly Freudianism - although most domestic psychoanalysts did not receive the appropriate psychoanalytic education. Domestic psychologists tried to apply in practice psychoanalytic ideas in working with children (V. Schmidt, M. Wulf, I. Ermakov, A. Zalkind, etc.). However, both pedology and work within the framework of Freud's concept failed to get their development in domestic science in connection with the actual prohibition of the authorities and the persecution of scientists and practitioners. For many years, psychology in Russia was deprived of the opportunity to study and develop methods of providing psychological assistance and get acquainted with the experience of foreign colleagues.
In fairness, we note that recently in our country there have appeared world-class practitioners who have already begun to teach their own Western teachers.
At present, practical psychology can be considered not only as a sphere of application of psychological knowledge, not only as a psychological practice and a way to test speculative psychological models, but also as a new actively developing branch of psychological science, which has its own subject of study and development. In our opinion, such principles are the principles, methods and forms of psychological assistance, psychological support, psychological assistance and psychological support for human development. G. S. Abramova (1994) considers the subject of practical psychology to be the individuality, originality of a person and the specific circumstances of his life. “At the same time, practical psychology sets as its task not only the study of the individuality of a person, but also the justification of the effects on him in order to manifest the possibilities of a person” (G. Abramova, 1994. - P. 12). Due to the novelty of this industry, the final definition of the subject of practical psychology is a matter of the future.
In our opinion, speaking about the tasks of practical psychology, we should distinguish their different levels:
1) research problems are associated with solving the problems of studying the laws of development and personality formation in order to develop methodological foundations for the practical psychologist, ways, means and methods of professional use of psychological knowledge in various social systems;
2) the applied tasks of practical psychology are dictated by the need for psychological support for the optimal functioning of institutions and organizations, the labor of personnel and individual individuals, which involves the preparation of special training programs, the creation of textbooks and teaching aids in practical psychology, the development of psychological recommendations and methodological materials, training and retraining programs , psychological justification of the activities of practical psychology services, the creation of norm projects ivnyh documents such activities;
3) practical tasks are determined by specific problems directly at the place of psychologist's professional activity: in institutions and organizations of various profiles, in specialized psychological rooms and centers - in the form of providing psychological assistance to specific people.
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