What is psychology? I googled the question, looked online for definitions, looked in a bunch of books. Here’s The American Psychological Association (APA) definition:
“Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. The discipline embraces all aspects of the human experience — from the functions of the brain to the actions of nations, from child development to care for the aged. In every conceivable setting from scientific research centers to mental health care services, “the understanding of behavior” is the enterprise of psychologists.
Seems kind of abstract, academic. Numbing.
But, well, okay. I can go with this as a starting point, a sort of umbrella statement about the field of psychology.
Although, in my experience as a therapist and as a patient, the APA definition doesn’t resonate with me, doesn’t really describe psychology as a practice or a process.
Maybe a better question is: What does it mean to think psychologically?
Long, spinning silence in my head…
I feel as if I’ve opened a Pandora’s Box of unknown dimensions, a black hole that requires research on EBSCO, extensive reading, quoting, citations, caveats, circumlocutions to make room for every fathomable and unfathomable contingency of practice and perspective. Deer-in-the-headlights mind lock.
Understanding psychology “well enough” is a life-long endeavor. For now – and subject to revision – my simple explanation of the essence of psychological thinking is:
“Thinking about our thinking.”
I am mightily tempted to expound, expand, and dissect that simple statement. And I will. Another day.