In this report, I will discuss how the United States’ involvement in global psychology has been detrimental to psychology in other countries. I will explain the dissatisfaction with Western psychology by psychologist around the world. Ways that global psychologists could influence the improvement of the US standpoint of psychology will be discussed.
The group of individuals that I chose for this assignment is the recovering addicts within my community. Drug addiction in Huntington, WV has become a huge epidemic. In the news, we all hear about the number of overdoses that had taken place or the number of people who were gunned down because of drugs. Working in the psychology field, it is saddening that the ones who have successfully completed drug rehabilitation programs still have the stigma of a drug addict and not given the chance to move their lives in the right direction. The recovering addicts unite together and provide support for one another but have no place to safely meet.
The recovering addicts group would like to use the community center room to meet and provide support for one another. They would like to meet once a month and would be flexible on the day of the week. With allowing this group to meet, they would be able to better serve the community and become mentors for those still battling the drug addiction. The community center is supposed to be for the whole community and members of this group are still community members.
The foot-in-the-door strategy stipulates that an individual is more likely to comply with a second, larger request if they have agreed to perform a small request (Perloff, 2014). I feel that this strategy would work well for the recovering addicts group because once they have an agreement that they could meet once a month, they could then request to meet twice a month or request that guest speakers be funded to come to their meetings each month to give them guidance on such things as building resumes, job interviewing tips, etc. The community itself is looking at all the negative connotations of the drug problem, but if the Board was to get more involved with promoting the positive things the group is providing, it would appear the community leaders are more invested in helping to decrease the drug epidemic. Using the meeting with the Board to establish the need for this group to be able to use the community center but also building a more respectful relationship with the Board and the community is an integrative negotiation which is about building relationships and effectively communicating (Mayer, 2012).
After speaking with the Board and explaining what the groups intentions were for the use of the room, the Board may question whether allowing the group to meet is such a promising idea. Some members may be wondering, “If we let them meet here, is it going to attract drug addicts that are still using?” Some will feel that if they don’t let this group meet and they make the community aware that they were being treated unfairly how it would affect their standing in the community. Cognitive dissonance is incongruity among thoughts or mental elements (Perloff, 2014). Having the Board to feel dissonance would be an advantage because the group could show them ways to help change their feelings towards them. Most people don’ t like feeling conflicted and want to take measures to change or validate the more positive feeling.
To help alleviate the dissonance felt by the Board, I would have a question answer activity. For this activity, I would ask that the Board communicate what their fears are regarding the group in specific questions. In return, the group members could communicate the positive aspects of the group and help to minimize the fears. This activity reminds me of an activity that you list “If this…. then this, if not this…then this.” In this situation, the activity would give both sides the advantages and disadvantages of not supporting the group. Focusing on the advantages and how the Board can become more involved will help them to suppress their negative thoughts. Relieving the Board’s dissonance before they leave the meeting will help the Board to feel like they are more empowered and not questioning their decision to help the group. Feeling more empowered, they would be more likely provide any necessary funding or resources that the group may need in the future. The Board could use their involvement with providing the recovering addicts a place to meet and resources to advocate for the addicts that still need to obtain help. The community would look to them as officials that are willing to help lessen the drug addiction issue.
While appealing to the psychological aspects of the Board, there are several ethical standards that would have to be considered. One of the biggest ethical issues could be confidentiality. Many recovering addicts would not want people to know that they have such a past, so to meet with the Board, they would need to be made aware that they could not share the names of the group members. When advocating for someone, like in this situation, one must be careful not to appear to be threatening to the Board. For example, it would not be wise to give an ultimatum or use threats to achieve the groups goals. It would be unethical to tell them that if they don’t let them meet there that they would have some of their “acquaintances” take care of the situation. It is important to not induce a hostile environment because neither group would benefit.
In closing, support groups for the recovering addicts are essential. I feel strongly that each community should have a place and or program established that assists the addicts after they have completed the drug rehabilitation. One of my clients, who is a recovering heroin addict, said that once he completed the drug detoxification and was out on his own, he didn’t know how to live a life without using. He struggled tremendously, he is still clean but programs such as the recovering addict group would be a life changer. When advocating for any reason, it is important to remember to consider the positive outcomes and promote those facts.
Perloff, R. M. (2014). The dynamics of persuasion: Communication and attitudes in the 21st century (5th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
Mayer, B. (2012). The dynamics of conflict: A Guide to Engagement and Intervention (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass
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