In many ways, the field of psychology stands at yet another critical crossroads. Clinical practitioners find their practices eroded by increasingly aggressive competition with other health professions and reluctance by healthcare payors to fund psychological treatments or assessment. At the same time, psychological researchers are reevaluating the direction of the science enterprise within the profession. Increasingly, there is emphasis on the "psychology of the positive" in contrast to historic models based on psychopathology. A recent president of the American Psychological Association, Martin Seligman, from the University of Pennsylvania, crystallized national attention on the relatively uncharted human emotions. Seligman noted that most research focuses on psychopathology and often ignores positive emotions such as joy or courage (1). Seligman has emphasized the advantage of studying emotions that have been neglected, such as "virtues, courage, or hope." Seligman's plea found an empathetic audience among psychologists and, indeed, among the general public. Now, this volume, Coping: The Psychology of What Works, focuses the growing academic and public interests in the spectrum of emotion and how coping affects emotion. In addition, it addresses the importance of coping to both healthy functioning and the so-called "positive emotions," as well as the consequences of deficiencies in coping that lead to the manifestation of psychopathology.
Snyder and his colleagues have previously addressed the broader questions regarding the interface between social and clinical psychology (2,3). In these works, Snyder and colleagues demonstrated the increasing synergies between two previously distinct fields. Clearly, clinical processes are substantially augmented by a distinct understanding of social psychology. In this volume, Snyder has drawn together a remarkably talented pool of authors to articulate the power of coping to psychological health. There is
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Publication information: Book title: Coping:The Psychology of What Works. Contributors: C. R. Snyder - Editor. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1999. Page number: vii.
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