Psychology is the study of mind. There are many factions of psychology, just as there are in the physical field of health.
Most of us know and think of people like Freud, laying someone out on a couch and asking them about their parents. But really, psychology was founded in the laboratory and still exists very strongly within that setting.
Of course, for the purpose of this blog we’re going to talk about clinical psychology. Which is indeed what started with Freud. Since then clinical psychology has diverged into subcategories.
- Cognitive therapy
- Existential therapy
- Family Therapy
- Group Therapy
- CBT, DBT
- AND MORE.
Though every psychologist seems to like to specialize and follow one of these paths, the starting points and ending points are usually the same. The goal here is to find what works best for you personally.
For instance, psychoanalysis(Freudism) might work if you’re disassociating from your thoughts. Or behaviorism if you’re instinctively feeling a flight or fight response from your boss walking into the room. Cognitive psychology when your significant other is making you angry and you can’t figure out why…
My point being; it’s important to understand that they’re really all just names for different routes. No single field is “right” or “wrong”, just helpful or not helpful.
While many forms of Therapy require a professional to aid you through them, there are also many forms you can explore on your own. I want to note again that I encourage professional help to all, there are also things you can do to increase your day-to-day mental health. Just like eating right will help keep you from getting sick, taking care of your mind and simply being AWARE of your mental processing will help you stay in good mental health.
We all have a natural inclination to “cope”. Everyone has “coping methods” that vary from individual to individual. The goal is to encourage constructive coping methods and discourage destructive coping methods.
- Constructive coping method: breathing slowly when you feel yourself getting angry.
- Destructive coping method: Taking narcotics when you feel yourself getting angry.
Our natural inclinations and our upbringing will support different coping methods. For instance, some people do not find nicotine to be helpful in decreasing stress, others do. And one individual may be more inclined to try smoking to relieve stress if they’ve seen their parents do it— or others will blatantly avoid it because they experienced the negative effects it can bring.
It’s important in psychology to recognize there is no set path for anyone. The brain is extremely complex! And fighting against your natural brain-construction is an uphill battle that will likely fail.
To me, psychology is a toolbox, and you can fill it with all sorts of different tools from CBT to humanism and beyond, then take those tools out when you need them. I hope this blog will help fill your toolboxes, and encourage people to stay healthy in both body and mind!