Evolutionary Psychology for Mental Health Professionals

Evolutionary psychology is a branch of evolutionary science focusing on the development of the psychic dimension of living species. Just as bodily functionalities developed through evolution, so did mental functionalities that perceive and process stimuli and direct the behavior of a living being. Evolutionary psychology thus provides fundamental explanations of how and why the human psyche works and offers critical insights for shaping and transforming approaches to mental healing and growth.

Evolutionary psychology examines and explains human psychical traits and functions by recognizing that they developed as consequences of successful gene reproduction. The traits and functions that ensured the best reproduction chances were carried through the successive generations, have been preserved to this day and represent today’s human mentality.¬†They were shaped¬†by natural selection as adaptive responses to physical and social environmental pressures on past generations.
Header image source: Herculano-Houzel, S. (2012). The remarkable, yet not extraordinary, human brain as a scaled-up primate brain and its associated cost. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(1), 10661-10668.