The Mission and Role of Psychology in a Traumatised and Changing Society: The Case of South Africa

Authors:
Joyce Hickson, Susan Kriegler
Published Online:
27 Sep 2007
DOI:
10.1080/00207599108247166
Pages:
783-793
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 26 Issue 6

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At present there is a “crisis” in psychology in South Africa. A mental health investigation has been initiated and a national task force appointed in order to reform the profession in all its aspects. These events are the result of a deep sense of unease about the mission, relevance and image of the profession and an awareness that mainstream psychology is irrelevant to the nature and needs of the majority black population. Presently psychology in South Africa is at a crossroads. This paper identifies the mental health needs of the majority black population and suggests professional training programmes for future psychologists and the utilisation of services and resources in delivery systems. The article also re‐defines the psychologist's role in a divided and traumatised society.

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