Welcome to At the Edge of Knowledge: The Future of Professional Psychology. This is a “living” digital journal that is concerned with the edge of knowledge in professional psychology. Sponsored by The Professional School of Psychology (PSP) and augmented by the research and scholarship being generated from PSP’s Research and Development center (appropriately called “The Edge of Knowledge”) this journal is distinctive in many ways. We think you will find it to be particularly informative, provocative and useful.
Interpersonal relationships are increasingly complex in our world of digital communication, volatile societal conditions, and the ongoing need (and desire) to connect with other people. The challenge of enhancing interpersonal relationships is particularly great for those involved in the helping professions—for they must address these concerns among their clients as the very nature of the helping role is itself changing as a result of these same complexities: digital interactions, volatile social settings and continuing (but often confusing) desires on the part of their client to be with other people and, at the same time, to find time alone. Given this challenge, editors of At the Edge of Knowledge: The Future of Professional Psychology (in the Library of Professional Psychology) and editors of The Future of Coaching (in The Library of Professional Coaching) have joined together in the production and publication of this set of documents concerning the nature and dynamics of Interpersonal Relationships.
We did not intend the first issue of the Edge of Knowledge to be about this profoundly influential health challenge. Nevertheless, right now this an important element in Professional Psychology’s future. As professionals around the world who are in the business of applying psychological perspectives and practices to the challenges facing our clients and other members of our society, there is much we can say and do. The future of professional psychology might in part depend on how we address the psychological ramifications of COVID-19. Put simply, professional psychology’s future might be as much in the domain of physical health as it is in the business of mental health.
In this second issue of The Future of Professional Psychology we offer the first in a series of issues focusing on the perspectives and practices of professional psychologists who provide services in a specific country or region of the world. In this case, we are turning our attention to the small, but highly influential country of Singapore. As a leading center of commerce and intellectual life in Southeast Asia, Singapore plays an important role in defining future directions to be taken by professional psychology in this geographic region. Specifically, we will be focusing on those professional psychology services that are directed toward mental health issues.
“Loneliness is more dangerous to us than the Corona”:
This issue was composed in the middle of 2020 during the second huge wave of the Covid-19 pandemic emerged in Israel. These months were experienced as an existential crisis. A crisis is usually defined as a major dysfunction in one of the main subsystems of an organism — a human individual, a family, a community, etc. — that threatens its existence. In the current reality more than one subsystem is in existential danger, and in some cases, the survival of all major subsystems is at risk.
One of the “hot” rail in the field of professional psychology is the psychology of political behavior – or more generally the sub-discipline of political psychology. Very few books have been written in this area (compared to the many books written in most other domains of human behavior). Furthermore, most professional psychologists chose not to identify (let alone share much about) their own political perspectives. They usually purport to be “neutral” in their political views. At the very least, most professional psychologists believe that it is inappropriate to share their views with clients. Furthermore, it is difficult for many clinical psychologists to decline work with someone with very different (and perhaps acted upon) political views. Organizational psychologists are hesitant to refuse a consulting offer from an organization that is operating from a quite different set of political positions. The misalignment of priorities, moral and ethical values, political contributions, etc. is not supposed to enter into the equation regarding the offering of either psychotherapy or organizational consulting services. In this issue of The Future of Professional Psychology we firmly grab the third rail and offer essays from diverse political perspectives, regarding several different societies.