Gina S. Washington
July 1, 2015
Examination of Clinical Psychology
Clinical Psychology Theory
Psychology itself involves many theories, outcomes, and studies involving behaviors. Clinical psychology involves licensed individuals who use their knowledge and expertise of human behavior to address and treat issues or concerns in an individual’s life. Our text describes clinical psychology as “the aspect of psychological science and practice concerned with the analysis, treatment, and prevention of human psychological disabilities” (Plante, 2010, p.7). Clinical psychology is used to treat mental health problems using the scientific method. Clinical psychology has a very diverse history and continues to evolve through research and continually advancing statistics in this field. As this branch of psychology continues to evolve there are many similarities and differences that are shared with many other health professions.
History and Evolution of Clinical Psychology
Though the aspects of psychology have been present throughout our history, the actual field of psychology and clinical psychology was not recognized as a science until the late 1800’s. Psychology became a distinct discipline in 1892 when the American Psychological Association was formed; clinical psychology was named a specialty four years later. In 1896 the first psychological clinic was open in Pennsylvania by Lightner Witmer who became the first psychologist who treated an individual with a problem using his knowledge and understanding of human behavior (Plante, 2010). Though there were some tensions that arose between clinical psychology and psychology, the treatment of individuals continued to grow rapidly. The first formal class involving clinical psychology was taught in 1904 at the University of Pennsylvania. The first edition of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology was later published in 1907. As clinical psychology continued to advance and grow in not only popularity, but also in knowledge and application a set of guidelines were created. These guidelines were created and put into place which then led to the utmost i instrumental training conference in clinical psychology history: Boulder Conference in 1949 (Plante, 2010). There were several guidelines involved but the main principle established was that clinical psychologists need to have a firm understanding and knowledge in both psychotherapy and psychological research; The Boulder Model. This model not only established the importance of knowledge in both areas, but also the education and training needed for adequate preparation in the clinical field of psychology. While psychology of clinical evolved throughout the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s much of Freud and Watson’s theories were used as a foundation to expand on. “The humanistic, behavioral, cognitive-behavioral, and family systems approaches to treatment emerged as compelling and popular alternatives to the more traditional theories and interventions” (Plante, 2010). As clinical psychology continues to advance and shift, James Maddox (2008) believes that a shift toward positive psychology is needed. This ‘positive psychology’ is a perspective that involves human strengths and the relationship with mental health. According to Maddux’s view, “positive psychology would aim to promote health, happiness, physical fitness, pleasure, and personal fulfillment through the free pursuit of chosen and valued goals” (Maddux, 2008, p.68).
Research and Statistics in Clinical Psychology
Research is the foundation of clinical psychology which involves gaining knowledge on human behaviors in order to aide in the treatment and betterment of individuals lives. Basic and applied research is fundamental in answering important questions about diagnosis, treatment, and general human behaviors (Plante, 2010). When research is involved it allows the psychologists to apply techniques, treatments, and theories with