ZeePedia
Clinical Psychology

MENTAL HEALTH TODAY: A QUICK LOOK OF THE PICTURE:PARA-PROFESSIONALS

THE SKILLS & ACTIVITIES OF A CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST:THE INTERNSHIP >>
img
Clinical Psychology­ (PSY401)
VU
LESSON 01
MENTAL HEALTH TODAY: A QUICK LOOK OF THE PICTURE!!
A recent national study of psychiatric disorders in America found that,
Approximately 30% of adults or 70 million people were diagnosed with at least one psychiatric
disorder.
10 million people are suffering with mood disorder and major depression
15 million people with Anxiety disorders.
1 million people with schizophrenic disorder.
500,000 people with eating disorder and most of them are women.
Clinical psychologists are on the front line in the treatment of these mental health problems.
WHAT IS CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY?
Clinical psychology is an exciting and growing field that encompasses both research and practice related
to psychopathology and to mental and physical health. Understanding, treating and preventing mental
health problems and their associate effect is the business of clinical psychology.
Clinical psychologists play a central role in the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of
mental health problems.
Through the use of psychological tests, interviews, observations of behavior, various forms of
psychological treatment (e.g. cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, marital and
family therapy) clinical psychologists are on the front line in the treatment of mental health problems.
They are increasingly involved in the treatment of behavioral and psychological factors that are related
to physical diseases, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, asthma and chronic pain etc.
They are also involved in the delivery of programs to prevent mental health problems and to promote
positive mental and physical health.
As a result, clinical psychologists engage in work in which the stakes are high and the opportunities are
great to bring meaningful changes in the lives of others.
The word "Clinical", derived from the Latin and Greek words for Bed, suggests the treatment of
individuals who are ill. But clinical psychology has come to mean a broader area than just mental illness
of individuals. Among the ultimate aims of clinical psychology are the psychological well-being and
beneficial behavior of persons; therefore, it focuses on internal psychobiological conditions and on
external social and physical environments within which individuals function.
Clinical psychology is the largest single specialty within psychology that deals with principles and skills
applied outside the laboratory, it is by no means all of applied psychology, which includes industrial,
educational, organizational, military and several other specialties.
DEFINITION OF CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY
In a recent attempt to define and describe clinical psychology, J.H. Resnick (1991) has proposed the
following definition and description of clinical psychology:
"The field of clinical psychology involves research, teaching, and services relevant to the applications of
principles, methods and procedures for understanding, predicting and alleviating intellectual, emotional,
1
img
Clinical Psychology­ (PSY401)
VU
biological, psychological, social and behavioral maladjustment, disability and discomfort, applied to a
wide range of client population".
OTHER DEFINITIONS OF CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY
Clinical Psychology is a branch of psychology devoted to the study, diagnosis, and treatment of people
with mental illnesses and other psychological disorders.
Clinical psychology is the scientific study, diagnosis, and treatment of people who have psychological
problems adjusting to themselves and the environment. Clinical psychologists deal with both normal
and abnormal behaviors. They administer and interpret psychological tests, and assist in the
diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. They also study the structure and development of
personality.
Clinical psychology is a broad field of practice and research within the discipline of psychology, which
applies psychological principles to the assessment, prevention, amelioration, and rehabilitation of
psychological distress, disability, dysfunctional behaviors, and health-risk behaviors, and to the
enhancement of psychological and physical well-being.
Clinical psychology includes both scientific research, focusing on the search for general principles, and
clinical service, focusing on the study and care of clients, and information gathered from each of these
activities influences practice and research.
Clinical psychology is a broad approach to human problems (both individual and interpersonal)
consisting of assessment, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, program development, administration, and
research with regard to numerous populations, including children, adolescents, adults, the elderly,
families, groups, and disadvantaged persons.
Clinical psychology focuses on the assessment, treatment, and understanding of psychological and
behavioral problems and disorders. In fact, clinical psychology focuses its efforts on the ways in which
the human psyche interacts with physical, emotional, and social aspects of health and dysfunction.
According to the American Psychological Association, clinical psychology attempts to use the
principles of psychology to better understand, predict, and alleviate "intellectual, emotional,
psychological, and behavioral disability and discomfort" (American Psychological Association, 1981).
Clinical psychology is "the aspect of psychological science and practice concerned with the analysis,
treatment, and prevention of human psychological disabilities and with the enhancing of personal
adjustment and effectiveness" (Rodnick, 1985).
Thus, clinical psychology uses what is known about the principles of human behavior to help people
with the numerous troubles and concerns they experience during the course of life in their relationships,
emotions, and physical selves. For example, a clinical psychologist might evaluate a child using
intellectual and educational tests to determine if the child has a learning disability or an attentional
problem that might contribute to poor school performance. Another example includes a psychologist
who treats an adult experiencing severe depression following a recent divorce. People experiencing
alcohol addiction, hallucinations, compulsive eating, sexual dysfunctions, physical abuse, suicidal
impulses, and head injuries are a few of the many problem areas that are of interest to clinical
psychologists.
To summarize,
Clinical psychology is a broad approach to human problems (both individual and interpersonal)
consisting of assessment, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, program development, administration, and
2
img
Clinical Psychology­ (PSY401)
VU
research with regard to numerous populations, including children, adolescents, adults, the elderly,
families, groups etc.
Clinical psychologists work with a broad range of populations, including the following: individuals
(infants, children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly); couples (regardless of gender composition);
families (traditional, multi- generational, and blended families); groups; organizations; and systems.
MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONS THAT ARE CLOSELY RELATED TO CLINICAL
PSYCHOLOGY
Many people are unaware of the similarities and differences between clinical psychology and related
fields, e.g. a popular question is, what is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist, or
between a clinical psychologist and a counseling psychologist.. Since almost all of the mental health
disciplines share certain activities such as conducting psychotherapy, understanding differences between
these fields can be very challenging.
Before we examine the nature of activities that are done by clinical psychologists, let us briefly review
some of the other major professions in the mental health field.
Major professions in the mental health field other than Clinical Psychology include the following:
1. PSYCHIATRISTS
2. COUNSELING PSYCHOLOGISTS
3. PSYCHIATRIC SOCIAL WORKERS
4. REHABILITATION PSYCHOLOGISTS
5. SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS
6. HEALTH PSYCHOLOGISTS
7. PSYCHIATRIC NURSES
8. PARAPROFESSIONALS
1. THE PSYCHIATRISTS
The psychiatrics are physicians. Psychiatry is rooted in the medical tradition and exists within the
framework of organized medicine. Because of the medical training, they may prescribe medications,
treat physical ailments and give physical examination.
In addition to their concentration on psychotherapy and psychiatric diagnosis, they make extensive use
of a variety of medications in treating their patients' psychological difficulties. Furthermore, their
medical training makes them potentially better able to recognize medical problems that may be
contributing to the patient's psychological distress.
EDUCATION &TRAINING OF A PSYCHIATRIST
Specific training in psychiatry begins only after a physician receive his/her MBBS or MD degree and
takes the 4 years residency training in psychiatry with further specialized training following the
completion of residency.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST AND PSYCHIATRIST
Before receiving psychiatric training, a psychiatrist complete four years of the medical degree and the
general medical internship. In contrast to psychiatrists, a clinical psychologist typically receives no
training in medicine, receives more extensive training in human behavior and formal assessment of
psychological functioning and receives extensive training in scientific research methods.
3
img
Clinical Psychology­ (PSY401)
VU
Psychiatrists often come from an authoritarian tradition. The psychiatrist is an expert who tells patients
what is wrong with them and then may prescribe medication to make things right. In contrast, clinical
psychologist frequently emphasizes to troubled clients their autonomy and the necessity that they, as
clients, collaborate with the therapist in the change process.
Usually psychiatrists give emphasis on the use of medication in the treatment of problems. In contrast,
clinical psychologist stress that client must learn to come to grips psychologically with their problems in
living. Traditionally, clinical psychologists have been committed to the power of words (the talking
cure) and to the process of thought and social learning. They do not subscribe to the credo of "better
living through chemistry" when applied to psychological problems.
2. COUNSELING PSYCHOLOGIST
The activities of counseling psychologists overlap with those of clinical psychologist. Although both
fields generally differ in philosophy, training, emphasis, and curriculum, but counseling psychology is
perhaps the most similar to clinical psychology in actual practice.
Like clinical psychologist, counseling psychologists generally major in psychology as undergraduates,
attend a four-year graduate training program, one-year clinical internship and complete postdoctoral
training prior to obtaining their license as a psychologist.
Their principle method of assessment is usually the interview but they also do testing. Historically they
have a great deal of educational and occupational counseling. More recently, many have begin to
employ cognitive- behavioral techniques and even biofeedback
HOW CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY DIFFERS FROM COUNSELING PSYCHOLOGY
The field of clinical psychology is much larger in terms of the number of doctoral- level professionals as
well as the number of accredited doctoral training programs. There are approximately three times as
many accredited doctoral program, producing four times as many graduates in clinical rather than in
counseling, whereas counseling psychology is less large in the number of doctoral level professions and
training programs.
Clinical psychologist deals with all kinds of patients (mild, moderate or severe). They are less likely to
specialize in career assessment, while counseling psychologist are more likely to provide services for
mildly disturbed. They are more likely to specialize in career or vocational assessment.
Clinical psychologists concentrate primarily on the treatment of severe emotional disorder. They treat
their patients through psychotherapies and their most emphasis is on past, while counselors work with
Persons, groups, families and systems who are experiencing situational,(mild to moderate) adjustment,
and/or vocational problems. They focus more on education & changing the cognition of their client.
Clinical psychologists usually employ long-term sessions, while short term sessions are used by
counseling psychologists (approximately 6-7 minimum and 14-15 maximum).
3. PSYCHIATRIC SOCIAL WORKERS
A psychiatric social worker receives a degree of Master of Social Work after two years of graduate
training.
Psychiatric social workers typically conduct psychotherapy on an individual or group basis. They tend
to deal with the social forces that are contributing to the patient's difficulties. They take the case history,
interview employers and relatives, and make arrangements for vocational placement of patients.
HOW PSYCHIATRIC SOCIAL WORKER DIFFERS FROM A CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST
4
img
Clinical Psychology­ (PSY401)
VU
Compared to the training of clinical psychologist, a psychiatric social worker's training is rather brief.
The responsibilities of a psychiatric social worker are not as vast as those of clinical psychologists.
In contrast to clinical psychologists, who provide services at clinic or hospital, psychiatric social
workers are more likely to visit the home, factory or the street -- the places where the patient spend the
bulk of their lives.
4. REHABILITATION PSYCHOLOGISTS
Rehabilitation psychologists focus on people who are physically or cognitively disabled. The disability
may result from a birth defect or later illness or injury. Rehabilitation psychologists help individuals
adjust to their disabilities and the physical, psychological, social, and environmental barriers that often
accompany them. Their most frequent places of employment are in rehabilitation institutes and
hospitals.
5. SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS
They work with school educators and others to promote the intellectual, social and emotional growth of
school children. Their work is important as they deal with a new generation.
At times they have to develop programs for children who may have special needs. They also assess
these children and help them based on what their needs are.
6. HEALTH PSYCHOLOGISTS
Health psychologists through their research or practice, contribute to the promotion and maintenance of
good health.
They are also involved in the prevention and treatment of illness.
They may design, execute, and study programs to help people stop things like smoking, manage stress,
lose weight or stay fit.  Health psychologists also work in medical centers, and they also work as
consultants for business and industry.
7. PSYCHIATRIC NURSES
Psychiatric nurses receive their basic training in nursing as part of two-year program to be a registered
nurse.
Because psychiatric nurses spend many hours in close contact with patients, they are not only in a
position to provide information about patients' hospital adjustment, but they can also play a crucial and
sensitive role in fostering an appropriate therapeutic environment.
They work in close collaboration with the psychiatrists or clinical psychologists, and they (along with
those they supervise - attendants, nurse's aides, volunteers, and so on) implement therapeutic
recommendations.
They, cannot conduct psychotherapeutic sessions by themselves, but provide help to professionals.
PARA-PROFESSIONALS
People who are trained to assist professional mental health workers are called Paraprofessionals.
They, just like psychiatric nurses, cannot conduct psychotherapeutic sessions by themselves, but provide
help to professionals.
5
img
Clinical Psychology­ (PSY401)
VU
UNIQUE FEATURES OF CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY
HOW DOES CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY DIFFER FROM OTHER BRANCHES OF
PSYCHOLOGY?
Although clinical psychology is tied to the rest of psychology through scientific research, clinical
psychology is, at the same time, different from other areas of psychology.
Clinical psychology is unique specifically in its commitment to the use of psychological research to
enhance the well being of individuals.
The different areas besides clinical psychology are school psychology, cognitive psychology,
developmental psychology, experimental psychology, social psychology, personality psychology,
industrial or organizational psychology, physiological psychology and so on.
Unlike clinical psychologist they are not mandated to complete an internship or postdoctoral fellowship.
They have different areas of expertise and skills but generally do not assess or treat patients
experiencing emotional, behavioral, interpersonal or other clinical problems. In contrast clinical
psychologists deal with all these problems.
They are not considered mental health professionals as clinical psychologists are, and may not even be
interested in human behavior, e.g. an experimental psychologist might conduct research on the memory
functioning of cats. A social psychologist might be interested in the social functioning of groups of
primates. A physiological psychologist might be interested in how organisms such as snail learn new
behavior. In contrast clinical psychologists deal with human behavior.
These psychologists might be interested in human behavior but not in abnormal or clinical problems.
With the exception of industrial organizational psychology, these psychologists do not obtain a license
to practice psychologically and therefore do not treat clinical patients.
CONCLUSION
Clinical psychology is a broad field of practice and research within the discipline of psychology, which
applies psychological principles to the assessment, prevention, amelioration, and rehabilitation of
psychological distress, disability, dysfunctional behavior, and health-risk behavior, and to the
enhancement of psychological and physical well-being.
In short, clinical psychology is a branch of psychology concerned with the practical application of
research findings and research methodology in the fields of mental and physical health.
6
Table of Contents:
  1. MENTAL HEALTH TODAY: A QUICK LOOK OF THE PICTURE:PARA-PROFESSIONALS
  2. THE SKILLS & ACTIVITIES OF A CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST:THE INTERNSHIP
  3. HOW A CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST THINKS:Brianís Case; an example, PREDICTION
  4. HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY:THE GREEK PERIOD
  5. HISTORY OF CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY:Research, Assessment, CONCLUSION
  6. HOW CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGISTS BECAME INVOLVED IN TREATMENT
  7. MODELS OF TRAINING IN CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY:PROFESSIONAL SCHOOLS
  8. CURRENT ISSUES IN CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY:CERTIFICATION, LICENSING
  9. ETHICAL STANDARDS FOR CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGISTS:PREAMBLE
  10. THE ROLE OF RESEARCH IN CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY:LIMITATION
  11. THE RESEARCH PROCESS:GENERATING HYPOTHESES, RESEARCH METHODS
  12. THE CONCEPT OF ABNORMAL BEHAVIOR & MENTAL ILLNESS
  13. CAUSES OF MENTAL ILLNESOVERVIEW OF ETIOLOGY:PANDAS
  14. THE PROCESS OF DIAGNOSIS:ADVANTAGES OF DIAGNOSIS, DESCRIPTION
  15. THE CONCEPT OF PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT IN CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY
  16. THE CLINICAL INTERVIEW:The intake / admission interview, Structured interview
  17. THE ASSESSMENT OF INTELLIGENCE:RELIABILTY AND VALIDITY, CATTELLíS THEORY
  18. INTELLIGENCE TESTS:PURPOSE, COMMON PROCEDURES, PURPOSE
  19. THE USE AND ABUSE OF PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING:PERSONALITY
  20. THE PROJECTIVE PERSONALITY TESTS:THE RORSCHACH
  21. THE OBSERVATIONAL ASSESSMENT AND ITS TYPES:Home Observation
  22. THE BEHAVIORAL ASSESSMENT THROUGH INTERVIEWS, INVENTORIES AND CHECK LISTS
  23. THE PROCESS AND ACCURACY OF CLINICAL JUDGEMENT:Comparison Studies
  24. METHODS OF IMPROVING INTERPRETATION AND JUDGMENT
  25. PSYCHOLOGICAL INTERVENTIONS AND THEIR GOALS:THE EXPERT ROLE
  26. IMPORTANCE OF PSYCHOTHERAPY:ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
  27. COURSE OF NEW CLINICAL INTERVENTIONS:IMPLEMENTING TREATMENT
  28. NATURE OF SPECIFIC THERAPEUTIC VARIABLES:CLIENTíS MOTIVATION
  29. THE BEGINNING OF PSYCHOANALYSIS:THE CASE OF ANNA, THE INSTINCTS
  30. PSYCHOANALYTIC ALTERNATIVES:EGO ANALYSIS, CURATIVE FACTORS
  31. CLIENT CENTERED THERAPY:PURPOSE, BACKGROUND, PROCESS
  32. GESTALT THERAPY METHODS AND PROCEDURES:SELF-DIALOGUE
  33. ORIGINS AND TRADITIONAL TECHNIQUES OF BEHAVIOR THERAPY
  34. COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY:MODELING, RATIONAL RESTRUCTURING
  35. GROUP THERAPY: METHODS AND PROCEDURES:CURATIVE FACTORS
  36. FAMILY AND COUPLES THERAPY:POSSIBLE RISKS
  37. INTRODUCTION AND HISTORY OF COMMUNITY PSYCHOLOGY:THE ENVIRONMENT
  38. METHODS OF INTERVENTION AND CHANGE IN COMMUNITY PSYCHOLOGY
  39. INTRODUCTION AND HISTORY OF HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY
  40. APPLICATIONS OF HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY:OBESITY, HEALTH CARE TRENDS
  41. NEUROPSYCHOLOGY PERSPECTIVES AND HISTORY:STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION
  42. METHODS OF NEUROLOGICAL ASSESSMENT:Level Of Performance, Pattern Analysis
  43. FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY:Qualification, Testifying, Cross Examination, Criminal Cases
  44. PEDIATRIC AND CHILD PSYCHOLOGY: HISTORY AND PERSPECTIVE
  45. INTERVENTIONS & TRAINING IN PEDIATRIC AND CLINICAL CHILD PSYCHOLOGY