Psychology and the Department of Veterans Affairs: A Historical Analysis of Training, Research, Practice, and Advocacy
Psychology and the Department of Veterans Affairs is a historical resource volume that offers important insights into the expansion of psychology since WWII. The VA led the country in establishing credentials for practice. Large-scale employment of clinical and counseling psychologists in the VA led to the emergence of psychologists as health-care practitioners in this country. Psychologists had significant leadership roles in the VA's innovative, large, multi-site cooperative research studies, and pioneered health care research in such areas as psychopharmacology, care of elderly people, and psychological care aspects in treatment of tuberculosis. Their work was important in the shift toward a behaviorally driven diagnostic manual, in particular, the DSM-III. VA psychologists also helped establish a number of trends for mental health services in the country, including group therapy, compensated work therapy, and other rehabilitation programs.
This book also tells how VA psychologists formed advocacy networks among themselves and with members of Congress and the American Psychological Association. It is another narrative thread of the story of the major changes in psychology and the reciprocal influence of psychology and government that was begun in the APA volume on the history of psychology and the National Institute of Mental Health. Target readers for this book include psychologists who work in health care fields or have connections with the VA, and others interested in the history of psychology and post-war American life.