PsychImage: the public image of psychologists and psychotherapists in Ticino
The public image of the exponents of psy-professions (psychologists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, etc..) and, more generally, of psychology are often associated with mixed feelings: on the one hand they arouse interest and respect while, on the other hand, they are often looked at with skepticism and devaluation. Several studies have highlighted a lack of a thorough understanding of these professions, in particular as regards therapies, intervention areas, expertise, and training. Image problems may have detrimental effects on individuals´ decision to approach a psychological treatment, on physicians´ decision to suggest a psychological treatment to their patients, and on the career choices of young people. The study, conducted in collaboration with the Associazione Ticinese Psicologi e Psicoterapeuti (ATPP), aims to investigate the public image of the exponents of psychological professions in Ticino, in order to get an overall picture of the situation, to identify where the problems are, and to develop possible solutions (eg. informational material, awareness campaigns, etc.).. Object of the investigation will be the general population (prejudices and stereotype, trust, expectations, etc..), the psychologists and psychotherapists themselves (perception of their profession, self-awareness of their image, etc.), and the intermediaries, such as doctors or schools (obstacles, incentives, expectations, etc.).