Adrien R. Schulte
March 18, 2014
What is Clinical Psychology?
Clinical psychology is an area of psychology focused on the treatment and assessment of mental illness, psychiatric issues and abnormal behavior (R.M. Allen, 1952). Clinical psychology integrates the treatment of human issues that are complex, with science of psychology. This field of study is centered on studying individuals through experimentation and observation with a focus on promoting a change in behavior, thought processes and beliefs (R.M. Allen, 1952).
History and Evolving nature of Clinical Psychology
The history of clinical psychology is both remarkable and groundbreaking, from Greek history provided great thinkers and analyzers such as Hippocrates, Aristotle and Plato (R. Watson, 1953). These men recognized the complex connection between the body and the mind and that connection each has with mental illness (R. Watson, 1953). The Middle Ages presented character flaws when it comes to physical and mental ailments as being an issue with an individual’s spirit (R. Watson, 1953). During the Renaissance the religious and “mystical” explanations of the past were counteracted by the explorations of science in a new way (R. Watson, 1953). This exploration brought about experimentation and observation as a better way to understand mental illness. In 1879, Wilhelm Wundt developed the first laboratory in Germany and in 1890; Williams James published Principles of Psychology (R. Watson, 1953). In the 1892 the American Psychological Association (APA) was founded by G. Stanley Hall giving an emergence in academic discipline to psychology and in 1896, Lightener Witmer opened one of the first clinics which gave a new term called Clinical Psychology (R. Watson, 1953). Sigmund Freud made major contributions in clinical psychology through a better understanding of the mind and body connection and the unconscious played out in an individuals waking life through illness, health and abnormal behavior (R. Watson, 1953). Freud’s theories gave poser to unconscious directives that influence wellbeing and the health of an individual (R. Watson, 1953). Both World War I and World War II played a role in the changes related to clinical psychology with the development of assessing war veterans and creating therapy for both veterans and their families (R. Watson, 1953).
With the evolving nature of clinical psychology, around the middle of the 20th century, psychologists began using new technology to further advance knowledge and understanding (R. Watson, 1953). These new uses of technology gave way to neuroscience and a world of new modern medicines which contributed to newer discoveries how behavior and thought have a huge role in the brain (R. Watson, 1953).
Role of Research and Statistics of Clinical Psychology
Research is an important part of clinical psychology’s bases. It provides the understanding to questions and promotes stretching the learning process (A. Stein, 1959). The statistical part of the science allows researchers to figure out which information is significant and can be applied to not only a variety of individuals and diagnosis but which information covers a large population (A. Stein, 1959). Research is a needed area in clinical psychology due to the application of therapy which changes the wellbeing and quality of life for many individuals that struggle with their thought processes and abnormal behavior (A. Stein, 1959). Research finds better, more effective ways to treat and diagnose behavior and statistics give evidence that shapes critical thinking skills, develops improved clinical and research settings and huge amounts of knowledge that lead to more understanding and discoveries (A. Stein, 1959). Therapies and changed or new therapies are discovered due to the findings in research and statistics (A. Stein, 1959). Experiments that researchers design may have