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Running head: SHORTENED TITLE UP TO 50 CHARACTERS 1 Add Title Here, up to 12 Words, on One to Two Lines Author Name(s), First M. Last, Omit Titles and Degrees Institutional Affiliation(s) Author Note Include any grant/funding information and a complete correspondence address.
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SHORTENED TITLE UP TO 50 CHARACTERS 2 Abstract Stress is a natural subject for critical health psychology. Critical health psychology is not so much an intersection of two fields, health psychology and critical psychology, as it is a union of the two in expanding beyond the traditional limits of medicine and clinical psychology. Here is S. Taylor’s definition of health psychology, quoted by Isaac and Ora Prilleltensky: “Health psychology is the field within psychology devoted to understanding psychological influences on how people stay healthy, why they become ill, and how they respond when they do get ill.” [Prilleltensky 2003 pg. 200]. In other words, health psychology addresses the mental or extra-biological elements of illness and wellness. Meanwhile, critical psychology “is not a special field but rather an approach to the entire field of psychology [that] attends to the pervasive influence of power in all we do... [and then seeks to] transform that awareness into practices that promote well-being and liberation...” [Prilleltensky 2002 pg. xii]. As Tod Sloan puts it, “...the aim of critical psychology is to expose social sources of human suffering and to suggest alternative arrangements.” [Sloan 1996 pg vii]. Sloan again: critical psychologists all display “an insistence on examining the societal and cultural roots of psychological experiences that non-critical psychologists choose to view as purely psychological, merely interpersonal, or primarily biological.” [Sloan 1996 pg. 2]. According to Prilleltensky, “The critique leveled against health psychology is not only that it responds late to conditions, but also that it addresses individuals and not societal structures.” [Prilleltensky 2003 pg. 203]. Critical health psychology is then an expansion that “aims to
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SHORTENED TITLE UP TO 50 CHARACTERS 3 analyse how power, economics, and macrosocial processes influence and/or structure health, health care, health psychology, and society at large.” [Marks 2002 pg. 15]. Hence traditional psychology studies, and works to treat, psychosomatic distress, while critical health psychology expands the field to study, and work to treat, socio-somatic distress. Now stress, as a concept, immediately invokes the American Psychological Association’s “biopsychosocial model” quoted by Marks: “the product of a combination of factors including biological characteristics, behavioural factors, and social conditions.” [Marks 2002 pg. 10] The very concept of “stress,” and its consequences, involves the medical establishment in looking beyond merely biological factors for the aetiology of illness and disease. Stress is not a germ.
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