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Discussion: Alternative Psychologies

Discussion: Alternative Psychologies

Thus far in your experience as a psychology student, you have been introduced to the field of psychology in terms of the mind and its functions in relationship to human behavior. Most introductory psychology textbooks and resources for other psychology classes emphasize a cause-and-effect scientific model, which typifies traditional psychology in the United States and the Western hemisphere in general. Throughout this course and in your course text, you read about Western psychology, which is representative of the practice of psychology in the United States.

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Alternative psychologies evolved independently of Western psychology because they are suitable for the needs of non-Western cultures. One notable difference is that alternative psychologies prioritize collective or group processes over isolated individual processes. Alternative psychologies view individuals as reflections of the larger culture or society. While the various alternative psychologies do have differences, they also have common themes such as those outlined in your course text: meaning-making, collective construction of psychological reality, time-dependent processes, and normative explanations.

Liberation psychology, which is one type of alternative psychology, has been used to address the needs of the poor and the oppressed in Latin America. With liberation psychology, the focus is on social change. Social change is possible when attempts are made to improve the conditions of the entire community rather than to only address the needs of one specific individual within the group. Additionally, this type of alternative psychology makes a difference by addressing challenges of the native people where they live, in their professions, and in the world around them. Liberation psychology also helps people understand what they need in order to facilitate change.

To prepare for this Discussion:

· Review Chapter 6 in your textbook, Toward a Global Psychology: Theory, Research, Intervention, and Pedagogy. Pay particular attention to the sections about alternative psychologies and liberation psychology.

· Referring to the video clips located in this week’s Optional Resources as examples, utilize the internet to identify one video that illustrates how liberation psychology empowers individuals to address their challenges.

· After viewing your selected video, identify the issues that were particularly challenging for the individuals in the video. Focus on two issues of particular interest to you.

· Reflect on how the common themes of alternative psychologies are evidenced in liberation psychology.

· Consider Walden University’s Mission for Social Change, which is to create scholar-practitioners who can effect positive social change.

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 3

Post a description of the video you selected. Specify two issues that were particularly challenging for the individuals in the video. Explain how liberation psychology could be or was applied to address the two issues you identified. Discuss how liberation psychology reflects at least two of the themes common to alternative psychologies. Describe how you, as a Walden University scholar-practitioner, might utilize liberation psychology as a means to effect positive social change.

Please read and view (where applicable) the following Learning Resources before you complete this week’s assignments.

Course Text: Stevens, M. J., & Gielen, U. P. (2007). Toward a glob al psychology: Theory, research, intervention, and pedagogy. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

· Chapter 6, “Toward a Conceptual Foundation for a Global Psychology”

· Chapter 7, “Qualitative Research Methods for a Global Psychology”


International Psychology APA Division 52. (n.d.). International psychology bulletin. Retrieved January 31, from The International Psychology Bulletin is a publication of the American Psychological Association’s International Psychology Division. This link will lead you to past issues of the newsletter.

Optional Resources

Online Video: Adelante Foundation. (2015, December 10). Sun showers of hope with Adelante [Video file]. Retrieved from

The Adelante Foundation’s program applies liberation psychology to challenging situations. The foundation also offers financial support to Honduran women.

Online Video: Adelante Foundation. (2016, July 5). Meet Maria Reaños – Adelante entrepreneur [Video file]. Retrieved from

Through microfinance and education Adelante is able to impact thousands of women and their families. Maria Reaños is one of these women. Listen to her story of how microfinance has changed her life and the life of her children.

The post Discussion: Alternative Psychologies appeared first on Smart Essays.

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