Clinical psychology science practice and culture pdf

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, clinical formulation, and psychotherapy, although clinical psychologists also engage in research, teaching, consultation, forensic testimony, and program clinical psychology science practice and culture pdf and administration. In many countries, clinical psychology is a regulated mental health profession.


The field is generally considered to have begun in 1896 with the opening of the first psychological clinic at the University of Pennsylvania by Lightner Witmer. 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 II resulted in the need for a large increase in the number of trained clinicians. Since that time, three main educational models have developed in the USA—the Ph. In the UK the Clinical Psychology Doctorate falls between the latter two of these models, whilst in much of mainland Europe the training is at masters level and predominantly psychotherapeutic.

Early examples of such physicians included Patañjali, Padmasambhava, Rhazes, Avicenna, and Rumi. In the early 19th century, one approach to study mental conditions and behavior was using phrenology, the study of personality by examining the shape of the skull.

Spiritualism and Phineas Quimby’s “mental healing” were also popular. While the scientific community eventually came to reject all of these methods for treating mental illness, academic psychologists also were not concerned with serious forms of mental illness.

The study of mental illness was already being done in the developing fields of psychiatry and neurology within the asylum movement. It was not until the end of the 19th century, around the time when Sigmund Freud was first developing his “talking cure” in Vienna, that the first scientific application of clinical psychology began. By the second half of the 1800s, the scientific study of psychology was becoming well established in university laboratories.

Although there were a few scattered voices calling for an applied psychology, the general field looked down upon this idea and insisted on “pure” science as the only respectable practice. Wundt and head of the psychology department at the University of Pennsylvania, agreed to treat a young boy who had trouble with spelling.

His successful treatment was soon to lead to Witmer’s opening of the first psychological clinic at Penn in 1896, dedicated to helping children with learning disabilities. Ten years later in 1907, Witmer was to found the first journal of this new field, The Psychological Clinic, where he coined the term “clinical psychology”, defined as “the study of individuals, by observation or experimentation, with the intention of promoting change”. The field was slow to follow Witmer’s example, but by 1914, there were 26 similar clinics in the U.

Even as clinical psychology was growing, working with issues of serious mental distress remained the domain of psychiatrists and neurologists. However, clinical psychologists continued to make inroads into this area due to their increasing skill at psychological assessment. Due in large part to the success of these tests, assessment was to become the core discipline of clinical psychology for the next quarter century, when another war would propel the field into treatment. The field began to organize under the name “clinical psychology” in 1917 with the founding of the American Association of Clinical Psychology.