Psychology is the scientific study of people's psychic processes and behaviours, including one's actions and responses to, your experience of the world and the emotional life, thinking and intentions. Psychology also refers to the use of this knowledge in various areas of human life, e.g. in the treatment and alleviation of mental disorders. Modern psychology can be said to have two origins that both originated in the late 19th century.

Wilhelm Wundts theoretical psychology was historically a branch of philosophy, and philosopher William James is often described as the father of psychology, after publishing Principles of Psychology in 1890. Psychology as a profession is often attributed to Sigmund Freud, a German-Jewish neurologist. After giving up hypnosis in the treatment of hysterical patients, he developed the psychoanalysis as a therapeutic method.

Introspection and Freud's psychoanalysis

Freud's psychoanalysis had a tremendous impact on Western culture in general, and within psychology, there was also a number of theories that were more or less inspired by Freud's views. These theories are collectively called psychodynamic and focus primarily on; the unconscious, childhood and self, and were largely developed by Freud's students.


Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov described classical conditioning, a simple learning mechanism by which behaviour is developed based on stimulus-response reactions. Within behaviourism, introspection was rejected as a scientific method, and considered the behaviour, and not the psyche, as the right subject of scientific psychology. Behaviourism was thus a counter-reaction to the psychoanalytic theories that were largely based on introspection.

Criticism of Psycology

A common criticism of psychology is its unclear scientific status. Psychology is criticized for not living up to the concepts of science that emphasize objectivity and reliability, as so-called soft research methods are often used, such as questionnaires and qualitative observation studies. Similarly, methods such as introspection and psychoanalysis that are subjective in nature are used within certain psychological theories.

In recent years, a widespread debate has developed on the effectiveness of psychotherapy in general, and differences in various therapeutic approaches in particular. The critics argue that many methods are based on obsolete theories and deficient empirical evidence of an effect. Conversely, others argue that experimental therapy efficacy studies overestimate manual and standardized therapies such as cognitive therapy, and often use the too narrow and positivistic concept of evidence when measuring the effectiveness of psychology.

Psycology to Treat Mental Health

A mental illness is a condition that causes changes in a person's thinking, feelings or behaviour (possibly all three) and which causes disorder or impaired function. In the psychiatric and psychological context, the concept of mental illness has increasingly been abandoned and instead speaks of mental disorders and disorders. Mental disorders and disorders are treated or alleviated in various ways: medical treatment, psychotherapy and educational measures. In the field of medical science, psychiatry is the theory that deals with mental illness, disorders and disorders. Other professional groups working on the treatment and alleviation of mental illnesses include psychologists, educators, nurses, social workers and various types of psychotherapists that work in family groups and in range of specialised consultative roles.

Stigmatization And De-Stigmatization

Myths and prejudices about mental illness can lead to the taboo and improper stigmatization of those affected. According to a study conducted in the South African population, 85% say that it is more accepted to have a physical than a mental disorder. In the worst case, this perception of the mentally ill or in the environment of the mentally ill can lead to exclusion from society. Thus, 62% of those surveyed agree that people with mental illness are often less well-functioning than people who do not have a mental illness. Many people with a mental disorder also avoid talking to others about their illness. Eg. 57% of participants in a study conducted among people with mental illness respond that they fear that others' knowledge that they have a mental disorder will have negative consequences for them.

Stigmatization of people with mental disorders also plays a role in relation to the societal costs associated with mental illness in the form of transfer income expenses, lost earnings and late or no treatment. This situation is found in many countries around the world, and in England, Scotland, Sweden, Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Spain and Japan as well as in South Africa have established national destigmatization efforts over the last 5-10 years.


Psychiatry refers to an area of ​​medicine that focuses specifically on the mind and aims to study, prevent and treat mental disorders. It has been described as an intermediary between the world from a social context and the world from the perspective of those who are mentally ill.

People who specialize in psychiatry often differ from most other professionals and doctors mental health in being familiar with both social and biological sciences. The discipline studies the functioning of various organs and body systems as classified by the patient's subjective experiences, and the objective physiology of the patient. Psychiatry treats mental disorders, which are traditionally divided into three very general categories: mental illness, severe learning disabilities and personality disorders. While the focus of psychiatry has changed quite a bit over time, the diagnostic and treatment processes have evolved dramatically and have continued to develop since the end of the 20th century.