Current Trends in Psychology: AI, Mindfulness and More
The field of psychology evolves with social and academic trends. In any given year, changes in the social consciousness, business climates, and even socio-economic conditions influence how psychology is studied, practiced and perceived in the U.S. and abroad. This fluctuation makes psychology one of the most interesting areas of study for students, instructors and practitioners.
As people and society evolve, so too, will psychology. In 2023 and beyond, we are looking forward to following these three major trends in psychology.
1. Growing Demand for Mental Health Services
Society is experiencing an increased need for mental health services since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. As more people seek counseling, workloads increase for all those providing mental health services.
In a survey of psychologists conducted by the American Psychological Association in Fall 2021, 10% of respondents reported an increase in the need for anxiety treatment since the beginning of the pandemic, and 12% reported an increase in the demand for treatment of depression. Additionally, 62% of the survey respondents received more referrals in 2021 than in 2020, and 68% reported a longer waitlist in 2021 compared to the beginning of the pandemic.
This resulted in many practitioners offering telehealth services if they weren’t already. In the APA survey, 96% of respondents answered that they believed the use of telehealth was effective as a therapeutic tool, and 93% intended to continue providing remote services after the pandemic. Remote mental health services can make it easier for patients to receive care while not sacrificing their physical health. It can also be more convenient for people with busy schedules.
2. Increased Awareness of Mindfulness
Mindfulness became a buzzword in recent years, and it’s now on course to sustain and even increase its momentum as a movement. Mindfulness is an extension of the Eastern philosophy of focusing on the here and now. The teachings of mindfulness can be found in Buddhism and Eastern philosophy, but religion isn’t a necessary component.
Counselors, therapists and psychologists are increasingly integrating the spirit of mindfulness into their sessions and workshops with clients.
3. Integration of AI Advancements
When it comes to diagnosing and treating mental health conditions, artificial intelligence is set to play an even more integral role in psychology in the coming years. Psychologists don’t typically consider AI to be a replacement for traditional methods, but AI-based tools can support treatments through:
- Analyzing written communications in suicide alert systems.
- Delivering daily cognitive behavioral therapy through smartphone applications.
- Offering video games designed to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder under medical supervision.
There are concerns when applying AI technologies in the field, such as algorithmic biases or privacy concerns, so psychology professionals should proceed with care.
Education in Psychology
Human behavior will always be a fascinating field to study, so it’s no surprise that psychology is one of the most popular academic disciplines. Whether you pursue a specialization like forensic psychology or industrial-organizational psychology – or a related field like education or marketing – a bachelor’s degree in psychology can be a wise choice.
Here at Columbia Southern University, we offer an online Bachelor of Science in psychology, and our Career Services team provides resources to students and alumni to help them get the most out of their investment in education.
For more information about all of our online degree programs, visit our website.
Multiple factors, including prior experience, geography and degree field, affect career outcomes. CSU does not guarantee a job, promotion, salary increase, eligibility for a position, or other career growth.