In this informative article today, we’ll try to answer some of the most asked questions regarding the field of health psychology. What is it? Which books you should read if you want to know more and is it a good field to choose, profession wise.
Health Psychology is a field of psychology that studies the relationship between psychological and environmental factors that affect health. Health Psychology was formally established in the early 1970s when a group of psychiatrists met at the American Psychological Association (APA) to discuss the relationship and application of psychology to social issues of physical health. The group came up with the name ‘health psychology’ as it is more related to the study of health than of psychology. Today there are many Health Psychology books available that have dealt extensively with a wide range of health-related issues. Health Psychology can be used like a tool by anyone who wants to understand how mental, emotional and environmental factors combine to affect our bodies and minds.
Health Psychology has many subfields and sub-disciplines. They include General Psychology; Health and Disease Psychology; Health and Well-Being Psychology; Health, Medicine, and Public Health Psychology; and Developmental Psychology. These subdisciplines are important for a complete understanding of health psychology. Health Psychology books provide an introduction to health psychology, its historical development, and basic models and methodology. Health Psychology texts review recent advances in understanding the causes and treatments for many complex health disorders. They also review special issues related to health, including eating disorders, eating habits, and stress management. Health Psychology textbooks describe the relationship between mental health and physical health. They describe mental health disorders, focusing on depression, anxiety, psychosis, bipolar and other mood disorders, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress, eating disorders, and alcoholism. They describe physical health, focusing on disorders of the brain and muscular, skeletal, and nervous systems, such as attention deficit disorder (ADD), obesity, arthritis, asthma, and diabetes. They also describe social aspects of mental and physical health, focusing on family and community health, school health, and work health.
Health Psychology textbooks describe symptoms and signs of various health disorders and their treatment, including signs, symptoms, and treatments for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, depression, and ADD/ADHD. They also describe the importance of healthy relationships and how they affect health, focusing on relationships between people. They describe medical intervention, which includes mental health therapy and substance abuse treatment. Health Psychology texts also describe cultural differences and their effects on health, focusing on issues in African American and Hispanic cultures that affect health and well-being.
Psychology texts explain the concept of psychological disorders and their definition. For example, depression is described as a disease characterized by sadness and/or loss of interest and energy, with no evidence of physical illness.
Likewise, ADD/ADHD is a disorder of attention and can be defined as a neurological disorder characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia, binge eating, and compulsive overeating; sexual disorders include rape, sexual coercion, date rape, molestation, and heterosexuality; drug abuse includes substance abuse and addiction; and occupational disorders include burnout, attention deficit disorder, and intermittent claudication.
There are numerous resources available to help students understand health psychology and choose the right course for them. A good introductory textbook in the field, Health Psychology 10th edition by Dr. Shelley Taylor, PhD, is an excellent introduction to the subject. Books on the subject are also available from most bookstores and on the internet. Many online libraries and universities have websites on the topic, making it easy to find the research needed to complete a doctorate degree in Health Psychology.
Health Psychology has become one of the fastest growing areas of research in the life science industry. As people have become more conscious about their health, the role of Health Psychology in promoting good health has also increased. Many private companies are now using Health Psychology as a tool to improve the quality of life for their employees. In this article, I will discuss some of the Health Psychology books that are popular among students and professionals in Health Psychology.
“Health Psychology (Canadian Edition)” by Drs. Edward P. Sarafino, Timothy W. Smith, and David B. King is the second book which we can recommend, especially if you are from Canada as it is dealing specifically with Health Psychology in the upper North American and Canadian region. In this book, the authors explores the emotional aspect of psychological issues and provides examples from their own work. Theye explains that we use five major emotional processes to interpret our experience and evaluate it. These emotions may be happiness, sadness, anger, fear and disgust. Emotion processes can cycle and cause us to repeat negative patterns. In this book, the expert authors explores the connections between emotions and health.
Taylor and Stanton’s “Health Psychology (11th International Edition)” is another popular ebook in the Health Psychology series, especially for students and readers outside the USA and Canada. It is widely used in universities in Australia, UK, Europe and Asia. This textbook focuses on building strong relationships between caregivers and their patients. It is important to remember that there are many different emotions that we experience in our lives, and that healthy communication between caregivers and their patients is essential. The book explores how emotions may impact care giving and the formation of healthy relationships.
“The G Waves – Beyond Eureka and Anxiety” by Barbara Benagh is the book that introduced the term G Wave Psychology. According to Benagh, our two most dominant emotions are fear and anxiety. Her research focused on how these two emotions influence the development of various health problems. She found that our experiences with stress and anxiety can trigger internal changes that are eventually passed on to our children.
“The Marriage Builder” helps us to create new relationships in both our personal and business lives. It describes how having a supportive partner who we can trust and who love us unconditionally is important for our mental and physical well being. The author portrays several different kinds of couples and how each one’s relationship with his or her partner may differ from the others. This book also touches on how the dynamics of power, control and influence may impact these relationships.
“The Health Psychology Reader” by Richard F. Katz is an excellent primer on the latest research in this field. This book will focus on the need to change outdated ideas in this particular area. The author argues that by developing a more balanced view of health psychology, practitioners and researchers alike will be able to improve the effectiveness of their services. The book is chocked full of practical suggestions for practicing therapists as well as individuals.
“Body Mind and Health: A Guide for the Study of Mental Health and the Body Mind” by William Gould is a useful addition to the current literature on health and mental health. This book provides a positive framework for understanding and dealing with issues surrounding both mind and body. This book provides a simple yet effective way to examine the connection between the two areas and is well paced for the reader. It will especially help those working in healthcare professions.
Whatever you choose, do it with love and passion and you shall not only enjoy your work, you will also have greater chances to succeed!