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Clinical psychology is an integration of the psychology, theory and knowledge for the purpose of understanding, preventing psychologically based stress and to promote personal health and behavioural well-being and personal development. Central to its practice are psychological approach and psychotherapy, although clinical psychologists also engage in research, studies, consult, forensic testimony, and organised developmental program. In most of the countries, clinical psychology is rewarded as a health care profession.
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In the 20th century, clinical psychology was focused on psychological research, with little attention given to treatment. An important area of expertise for most of clinical psychologists is assessment, and there are indications for 81% of psychologists utilize this core clinical practice. The specialty of clinical psychology addresses behavioural and mental health issues faced by individuals across the lifespan including:
1. Intellectual, emotional, psychological, Social and behavioural maladjustment.
2. Disability and discomfort.
3. Minor adjustment issues as well as severe psychopathology.
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Clinical Psychology is the psychology concerned with the assessment and treatment of mental illness, abnormal behaviour and psychiatric problems. This field integrates the science of psychology with the treatment of complex human problems, making it an exciting career choice for people who are looking for a challenging and rewarding field.
American psychologist Lightner Witmer first introduced the term in a 1907 paper. Witmer, a former student of Wilhelm Wundt, defined clinical psychology as "the study of individuals, by observation or experimentation, with the intention of promoting change." Today, clinical psychology is one of the most popular subfields within psychology.
They work with clients of all ages on a variety of different mental or physical health problems including:
• Depression and anxiety
• Mental illness
• Adjustment to physical illness
• Neurological disorders
• Addictive behaviors
• Challenging behaviors
• Eating disorders
• Personal and family relationship problems
• Learning disabilities
Clinical Psychology involves determining the nature, causes, and potential effects of personal distress; of personal, social, and work dysfunctions; and the psychological factors associated with physical, behavioral, emotional, nervous, and mental disorders. Examples of assessment procedures are interviews, behavioral assessments, and the administration and interpretation of tests of intellectual abilities, aptitudes, personal characteristics, and other aspects of human experience and behavior relative to disturbance.
Interventions in Clinical Psychology are directed at preventing, treating, and correcting emotional conflicts, personality disturbances, psychopathology, and the skill deficits underlying human distress or dysfunction. Examples of intervention techniques include psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, behavior therapy, marital and family therapy, group therapy, biofeedback, cognitive retraining and rehabilitation, social learning approaches, and environmental consultation and design. The goal of intervention is to promote satisfaction, adaptation.
Child Psychology examines the psychological aspects that occur during childhood. Child Psychology is exceptionally broad topics that explore very specific areas with how children grow physically, but with their mental, emotional and cognitive, and psychosocial development as well.
Society of Clinical Psychology:
In the attempt of measuring the occurrence of mental illness in the United States, clinical psychologists conducted a study called the Epidemiological Catchment Area Project which took part in the survey on samples of the general population at ten sites across America. In that study, it was found that about third of all Americans suffer from mental illness in some stages in their lives. This statistic is often referred to as lifetime prevalence.
Dissociative disorders were not included in the Project, as these diagnoses were recorded extremely rare, lacked standardized criteria and did not have a validated diagnostic instrument. Psychological and environmental factors have a major influence on healthy and active ageing. Mental problems are responsible for 13 % of the total disease burden worldwide.
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This page was last updated on 11th Sep, 2015
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