Introduction to Community Psychology | Free online course | Alison

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Introduction to Community Psychology

Learn about community psychology, and how it views social problems as been part of unequal distribution of resources.

Free Course
This free online psychology course will teach you how community psychologists view social problems as the result of the unequal distribution of resources that cause poverty, homelessness, unemployment, and crime. You will also study the history of community psychology and compare international community psychology studies to domestic community psychology, look into how community psychologists do research, and much more!





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In this free online course you will learn that Community Psychology is a branch of psychology that studies the individual’s contexts within communities and wider society, and the relationships that are involved. This introductory course will help you understand the work of community psychologists and the context for their work.

The course starts by introducing you to community psychology and how it differs from the traditional medical treatment model in mental health. The role of prevention and having a social justice orientation are discussed and explained after which you will learn about the ecological models and key principles of community psychology. Next, you will learn about the historical context that lead to the creating of community psychology and the decades that followed and how it evolved over those decades.

You will then learn about who community psychologists are, their core values, and the difference between community psychology practice and academic work. You will learn about non-traditional ways to become qualified as a community psychologist, and about the various different work settings and how to gain employment as a community psychologist.

Lastly, you will learn about community psychologists working internationally, about the types of international work, and the importance of understanding culture and context for international work. You will learn about the challenges of working internationally and the skills you can gain from working internationally. This free course will be of great interest to anyone studying psychology, community leaders and organizers, who want to help people and their community.

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Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Discuss the differences between prevention and treatment
  • Differentiate interventions that bring about short term versus long term changes
  • Identify critical elements of the Community Psychology approach
  • Describe the major events in the history of Community Psychology
  • Identify key perspectives that have vied for prominence in the field
  • Recognize the future directions of theories and methodologies in Community Psychology
  • Distinguish between various settings where community psychologists often work
  • Discuss unique skill sets or competencies used by community psychologists in various settings
  • Identify why it is important to adopt an international perspective on Community Psychology
  • Discuss the challenges and rewards of doing International Community Psychology work


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