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Psychology and health: recent challenges

Fernando González Rey About the author

This paper presents and discusses different challenges that psychology has to face in its approach to health issues, which, from my point of view, are impossible to develop within the current approaches to health and clinical psychology. I emphasize concrete challenges: the first deals with the theoretical elaboration of the concept of health, which has been practically ignored in the psychological literature that focus mostly on the matter of disease. In this sense, I propose to abandon the definition of health in terms of normality, equilibrium, or absence of symptoms. For this purpose, I take the concept of distress and explain it within a different theoretical framework, taking into account its complex subjective and social constitution on the subject’s life course. The other challenges relate to the need to include the matter of health among those developed by social and educational psychologists, emphasizing the importance of an interdisciplinary approach.

health; distress; subjectivity

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