As a psychologist, what six things need to be taken into account when talking about or assessing a person’s mental health and wellness? 

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A psychologist needs to take into account many different factors when assessing a person's mental health and wellness. Let's look at some of these and focus, too, on how modern perspectives of psychology intertwine with evaluation.

Think first about a person's thoughts and feelings. These give important clues about his...

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A psychologist needs to take into account many different factors when assessing a person's mental health and wellness. Let's look at some of these and focus, too, on how modern perspectives of psychology intertwine with evaluation.

Think first about a person's thoughts and feelings. These give important clues about his or her mental state. A psychologist actually has to read between the lines here because, quite often, a person will not be able to fully express those thoughts and feelings. Stress levels are important here as well.

Next, a psychologist will look at the person's past for signs of trauma that may still be affecting his or her mental health. Childhood abuse is a significant factor but also early loss of loved ones and difficult social interactions in childhood and teen years. Notice that there is bit of a Freudian twist to this one.

Current behavior is important in evaluating mental health as well. A psychologist needs to determine how a person is behaving in everyday life. Are his or her actions appropriate for particular situations, or are they “off”? You may wish to talk about the behavioralist approach here.

Relationships are another critical factor in mental health and wellness. A psychologist must look closely at the health of relationships and the reasons why some of them may be failing.

A psychologist would also examine a person's cognitive ability. This might include the person's ability to concentrate and to solve problems. Think in terms of the cognitive approach to psychology.

Finally, psychologists will look closely at a person's social situation. Elements may include the person's social class, employment, gender, and race. Issues with these can certainly affect mental health.

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