Nature of Clinical Psychology

Clinical psychology is an integration of science, theory and clinical knowledge for the purpose of understanding, preventing, and relieving psychologically based distress or dysfunction and to promote subjective well being and personal development.

Central to its practice are psychological assessment and psychotherapy, although clinical psychologists also engage in research, teaching, consultation, forensic testimony, and program development and administration. In many countries, clinical psychology is a regulated mental health profession. In the first half of the 20th century, clinical psychology was focused on psychological assessment,, with little attention given to treatment.

This changed after the 1940s when World War-I1 resulted in the need for a large increase in the number of trained clinicians. Since that time, two main educational models have developed the Ph.D. scientist-practitioner model.

Clinical psychologists. are now considered experts in providing psychotherapy, psychological testing, and in diagnosing mental illness. They generally train within four primary theoretical orientations psycho dynamic, humanistic, behavior therapy/cognitive behavioral, and systems or family therapy. Many continue clinical training in post-doctoral program’s in which the might specialize more intensively in disciplines such as psychoanalytic approaches, or child and adolescent treatment modalities.

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