What is Preventive Psychology?
Preventive psychology is a branch of preventive or public health medicine. It aims to promote good mental health in individuals and to prevent the occurrence or reduce the incidence of psychiatric disease in a population. As in other public health endeavours, the practice of preventive psychiatry requires collaboration with allied disciplines – including political, sociological, psychological, educational, psychotherapeutic, biochemical, pharmacologic, nursing, and others.
Primary preventive psychiatry is defined as the work of keeping healthy people healthy, from a psychiatric point of view.
What is involved?
In the experiential realm, educational and socially supportive services for prospective parents may serve as primary preventive psychiatric measures, sometimes with quantifiable outcomes such as reduced incidence of abusive behaviour.
Primary Preventive Psychiatry
Primary preventive psychiatry is practiced whenever mentally healthy persons exposed to special mental health risks are given fortification against those risks. Facilitation of mourning is a widely used measure for persons suffering the hazard of death of a spouse or parent. The technology used in facilitation of mourning may come from varied disciplines. It may comprise educational transmission of knowledge about developmental differences in mourning capacity, or consist of psychoanalytic methods of interpretation. When the latter are used, the target may be an individual’s defences against grief and related affective discharge, with the preventive aim being to reduce lifelong pathologic structuralization of those defences. Family therapy techniques may increase mutual helpfulness and healthy interactions among surviving members. Network therapy may widen and deepen the immediate mutual assistance.
Secondary Preventive Psychiatry
Secondary Preventive Psychiatry is defined as the work of early detection and prompt treatment of psychiatric disorders. From a public health medicine point of view, the goal is to reduce the incidence of a disease (or diseases) in a population by intervening before the disease has become fully established and before it becomes difficult to eradicate or treat. Prevention of chronicity is a goal of secondary preventive psychiatry, and cure – where possible – is a goal. Secondary preventive efforts thus differ sharply in aim from primary preventive efforts, because disease is already present.