Psychology refers to the general understanding of behavior and mind processes. It is a scientific study that attempts to understand certain processes that usually underlie certain functions and behaviors in human nature.
It is a science of mental life, in terms of both its phenomena (feelings, desires, decisions, cognitions, and reasoning) and their conditions (James, 2007). Special populations refer to a group of disadvantaged individuals within the entire population, both the children and adults of both gender inclinations.
Such individuals have special needs and they are defined by a number of characteristics such as medical, racial, cultural, physical, and cognitive (Sebastian and Bushy, 1999). Their physical, mental, and behavioral performance usually deviates substantially from the norm. This separates them from others within the same population.
Special needs populations have encountered a number of the issues concerning them being neglected, for example the people with cognitive and or intellectual disabilities, and most of them have fear of being stigmatized for special treatment, as this kind of situation might embarrass them.
In professional psychology, special population defines both children and adults with the following special needs; education, where majority of the individuals are unable to comprehend and derive full benefits from the curriculum. The special populations also include the elderly, abused individuals (both domestic and sexual), gays and lesbians, and minority groups. Such individuals have traumatic experiences that pose a danger in terms of their decision-making.
The special populations are challenged physically in terms of visual, hearing impairment, mental retardation, and movement disorders. These challenges promote inequality in the population in terms of resource allocations, access to basic services such as education, medical and counseling. Because of such challenges, the special populations require special attention and treatment compared to the normal individuals (McBrayer and Lian, 2002).
Given the special needs that arise because of the demands from the special population, this has influenced professionals in various ways. For example, a sample of individuals who have had their rights being violated, either sexually or within domestic setting have a greater influence on confidentiality as an ethical requirement in the professional field.
This is because some of the individuals tend to be reserved to disclose certain issues concerning their traumatized lives, which leaves the whole process with an option to look for information from other third parties in order to provide professional counseling services to the victims.
This kind of situation frequently occurs also to individuals who believe and see themselves as outcasts from the community norms in terms of their sexual orientations (gays and lesbians) that might be faced with certain problems and they may conceal information that is needed to help them and the entire population.
Majority of the disabled individuals within the population have fear of stigmatization and victimization due to certain conditions that they feel will not be taken well by other individuals within the population. This condition influences their decisions for accessing professional counseling, and hence the overall effectiveness of professional psychology services to such individuals is minimal because of their immobility and low self-esteem compared to the other individuals.
The conditions arising from the special populations is challenging to the professional psychology because many individuals are faced with sophisticated problems and conditions which require specialized equipments and experience which sometimes the profession has inadequacy of such expertise that is required to combat and treat certain situations.
The overall result is that the individuals having such conditions end up not being availed such professional services profitably (Nevid and Rathus, 2010).
Professional psychology is a field that studies human behavior and mentality, providing services that help individuals suffering from certain mental and physical conditions.
The special population consists of individuals who are marginalized because of the conditions that they face physically and mentally. This type of population has a great influence on the professionalism of psychology because of the demands arising and the complexity of their conditions.
James, W. (2007). The Principles of Psychology. Volume 1. New York: Cosimo, Inc. Retrieved May 25, 2011, from http://books.google.com/books?id=xSFlbEyDZuoC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_atb#v=onepage&q&f=true
McBrayer, P, F, K., Lian, M, J. (2002). Special needs education: children with exceptionalities. Hong Kong: Chinese University press. Retrieved May 25, 2011, from http://books.google.com/books?id=QeUllFTE9nMC&printsec=frontcover&dq=special+needs&hl=en&ei=KYfbTea_LojbsgbPlrTxDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false.
Nevid, S, J. and Rathus, A. S. (2010). Psychology and the Challenges of Life. NJ: John Wiley and Sons. Retrieved May 25, 2011, from http://books.google.com/books?id=CBrYWFi8JxkC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_atb#v=onepage&q&f=true
Sebastian, G, J. and Bushy, A. (1999). Special populations in the community: advances in reducing health disparities. NY: Jones & Bartlett Learning. Retrieved May 25, 2011, from http://books.google.com/books?id=8fItr0QHSOkC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_atb#v=onepage&q&f=false