Personality Characteristics and Health Psychology Essay

4959 Words Dec 4th, 2005 20 Pages
Running head: PERSONALITY CHARACTERISTICS AND HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY

Personality Characteristics and Health Psychology

Introduction
In the field of psychology, a growing interest in the interaction between physical and mental health has become apparent. Psychologists are beginning to realize the importance of treating a client as a whole unit with many working elements that are interdependent on each other. The term coined currently is the biopsychosocial approach. Here, it is recognized that the client's psychological makeup is interdependent on their current biological state, which is also dependent on the social spheres the client finds themselves in. The focus of this paper is to highlight the importance of the way in which a
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American Indians of the Oglala Sioux tribe express such an opinion. They believe that the maladaptive interaction of spiritual oneness and health resulting from disharmony with what they call the ‘Nation Hoop' (Neihardt, 1972). Many of the Indian nations believe that every creature in existence is part of a "Nation Hoop". When one is not aliened with all the spirituality of all creatures, the result is a physical or mental manifestation. Thus, when the hoop is broken, it causes a shift in the balance of life. This perspective however takes on a distinctly spiritual tone that not all philosophers have written about. Freud, being originally trained as a neurologist attempted to discover a link between psychological well-being and physical problems. While studying neurology, Freud began seeing several patients that presented with peculiar physical ailments that had no apparent physical etiology. This lead him to a theory of personality that attempted to explain the lack of physical evidence in problems of blindness, limb paralyses, etc. Freud's outlook throughout his career was rather pessimistic, viewing the individual as untamed and bad in nature. To him, a healthy personality was one who had the ability to love and to do productive work. Healthy personality was described as outcome of harmony among the id, ego and superego. This means an even balance where the id and superego are not overpowering the psychic