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Among thirteen fields of psychology described by Kuther, there were chosen such branches as clinical psychology and counseling psychology. There was given a short definition and a description of the chosen fields. There was made an attempt to emphasize the importance of these fields of psychology and to underline their applied significance. Taking into consideration a certain similarity of these two branches of psychology, we also tried to lay special emphasis on the differences between them, by pointing out their specific peculiarities.
Among the variety of the officially recognized branches of psychology, there are two that lie in the sphere of my interests, and which I consider to be of great importance. They are clinical psychology and counseling psychology. I found these two branches important because their data are significant not only for psychology as a science but also for medicine.
These two spheres have something in common, but there is a distinct difference between them.
Clinical psychology deals with treating people who have some psychological problems. The clinical psychological researches may be divided into those focusing on the common patterns, and those dealing with the research of the peculiarities of the concrete patient. In accordance with this statement, it is possible to distinguish common clinical psychology and a specific one.
The subject matters of the common clinical psychology are the common factors of the psychology of the patient and of the health care professional; the psychological peculiarities of the patient and the doctor; the influence of the psychological atmosphere in the health care center on the person’s state. This sphere deals with such problems as the questions of the duty of care, the aspects of professional ethics, and medical confidentiality.
The specific clinical psychology studies the concrete patient, the peculiarities of his mental processes. It deals with the psychology of the patients during the preparatory period to the operation and during the postoperative period. It takes up the problem of the psychology of the patients with the defects of the hearing and sight organs.
I think that the clinical psychologist may perform two roles simultaneously. He may act like a scientist, researching that or this psychological disease, and as a therapist, treating the persons who suffer from psychological disorders.
It is important for me that the clinical psychologist is the specialist, which can work not only in the specialized medical centers but also in the services of another sphere. This specialist may work in the sphere of education or social security. In other words in the spheres, where the advanced study of the human personality is necessary.
Counseling psychology deals practically with the same activities as the clinical one, but there is a difference between them. While the clinical psychologists focus their attention on the different sorts of psychological disorders, the counseling psychologists draw special attention to the persons general well-being.
The main method of counseling psychology is specifically organized conversation with the patient. During this conversation, the counseling psychologist uses special technologies and practices, the purpose of which is a better understanding of the patients problems and his personal peculiarities. During the process of the consultation, the specialist influences the patients thoughts and feelings. The purpose of the conversation is to find out the way of the patients problem solution.
Though both the clinical and the counseling psychologists conduct psychotherapy, the clinical psychologists usually deal with serious mental disorders. While they view the mental affection from the medical point of view, the counseling psychologists choose a general approach to the disease, which enables them to use a wide range of psychotherapeutic methods. The counseling psychologists can find themselves in different spheres, such as medicine, education, the social sphere. In certain cases, they render the services not only to the individual persons but also to the governmental and military organizations.