Mental Health for the Everyman: World War II's Impact on American Psychology

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Lloyd, Aeron S
mental health; war neurosis; military psychology; shellshock; mental health policy; world war two; Cultural History; Military History; Psychology; United States History
thesis / dissertation description
World War II transformed the American psychological field, bringing the treatment of mental health out of state hospitals and asylums and making psychological medicine available to the average person. This accessibility rekindled popular interest in psychology, leading to a shift in how Americans perceived the study and treatment of the mind. United States would eventually lead the world in psychological research and practical application, and in turn, American society became decidedly more psychological in nature. This research tracks these changes back to steps taken by the American military to analyse and sustain soldiers’ mental resilience and stability before, during, and after the war, and discusses how this resonates in the practice of American psychology today.