Where Can I Train to be a Community Psychologist?
Interested in becoming a community psychologist?
The information you need is here!
Why a graduate degree in community psychology?
Community psychology aims to go beyond the individual, focusing instead on the community, environment, and larger influencing factors that affect people’s daily lives (culture, politics, economics, healthcare, etc.). The field of community psychology is devoted to advancing theory, research, and collaborative social action (at neighborhood, organizational, state, national, and international levels) to promote positive well-being, increase empowerment, advance social justice, encourage understanding of each other and of issues that society faces, and to prevent the development of problems.
Gloria Levin, Community Psychology Practitioner based in Glen Echo, MD, explains how she became interested in the field:
Throughout my life, even as a child, I have volunteered on initiatives of social justice, civil rights, poverty, feminism, etc. I started graduate school in clinical psychology because it was ‘expected,’ but, when I realized that my impact would always be limited, by working one at a time, I quit. I entered the ‘real world,’ working as a community organizer for seven years in urban neighborhoods, through Peace Corps service in a Peruvian squatter settlement, in public health, and as a consultant to recipients of community development grants. Fortunately, when I arrived at the point that I was craving intellectual stimulation, a few (very few) community psychology graduate programs were opening. I obtained a Ph.D. in community psychology and my career since then has been devoted to the practice. Community psychology is my natural home, since I am a born community organizer.
Community psychology links direct action and service with research and evaluation, partnering with community members to promote change, recognizing both the expertise they have about their own situation, and the need for community member involvement and participation to implement culturally and situationally appropriate and sustainable progress.
A graduate degree in community psychology allows social justice oriented professionals to:
- engage in direct service with community-based organizations
- consult and advise nonprofits and local community coalitions or groups
- advocate for and empower underrepresented groups conduct action-research to better understand problems and promote change
- teach and conduct community research in university settings
- advance public policy to better meet all peoples’ needs.
For More Information
To browse an extensive list of academic programs in community psychology and related fields is maintained by the Society for Community Research and Action here: http://www.scra27.org/what-we-do/education/academic-programs/
More information about training in community psychology can be found in Community Psychology Degree Overview.