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Clinical Psychology vs. Psychiatry Essay



This was an interview involving two service professionals from a school and a hospital. The two professionals consisted of a clinical psychologist and a psychiatrist. The interview aimed to provide similarities and differences used by these professionals to handle cases in their respective settings. It is imperative to recognize that the field of psychology is wide and therefore offers various career opportunities for qualified professionals. Techniques applied by these professionals could be similar or different in some ways. Although the techniques may differ, the ultimate goal of these professionals is to ensure that their clients recover their health and well-being (National Centre for Mental Health, 2014).

Professionals Interviewed

Dr. James Shaw is a qualified clinical psychologist who has worked in both private and public settings. He is currently associated with the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Dr. Shaw offers therapy services to both adults and teenagers.

Dr. John V. Campo is a child and adolescent psychiatrist with expertise in anxiety disorders, ADD, ADHD, child behavior disorders, mental disorders, psychiatry, and psychosomatic medicine among others. Dr. Campo is currently affiliated with the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Setting and duration

Dr. Shaw practices in a warm, supportive environment within Ohio University Medical Center. He strives to provide compassionate and confidential therapy and counseling services to his clients in order to create positive changes and facilitate clients’ healing as they aim to find positive solutions for their well-being. The therapist applies the most current psychological research offering individualized treatment techniques to meet the needs of his clients. Dr. Shaw has been practicing for several years across different areas, including community agencies, private practice, and hospitals among others.

Dr. Campo practices in a diverse setting because of his training and experiences in different cases, including the prescription of medications, different forms of psychotherapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy, among others. Campo has been practicing for 28 years.

Specialties or areas of clinical focus

Dr. Shaw is a clinical psychologist who focuses on couples/marital counseling psychotherapy and psychotherapy/counseling. These areas of focus help the therapist to handle depression, anxiety, anger, and chronic misuse of behaviors among others.

Dr. Campo specializes in several areas of clinical psychology, including anxiety disorders, ADD, ADHD, child behavior disorders, mental disorders, psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, and recurrence among others.

Most common disorders

Dr. Shaw treats many cases of anxiety, worry, attention deficit issues, obsessive-compulsive disorder, low self-esteem, anger management, stress, and phobia.

Dr. Campo usually attends to many clients with anxiety disorders, ADD, ADHD, child behavior disorders, mental disorders, and psychiatry.


Apart from a doctorate degree in clinical psychology and an MBA, Dr. Shaw has acquired advanced certifications in couple therapy and anger and anxiety management. Dr. Shaw has authored many books in psychology.

Dr. Campo holds MD certification alongside other certificates and licenses to prescribe medication for his mental patients. He is also involved in the research and publication of scholarly journal articles.

Approaches, specific modalities, techniques, or interventions

Generally, these specialists tailor therapeutic techniques to meet the unique challenges of their clients. Nevertheless, Dr. Shaw tends to apply Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to treat cases of depression, anxiety, and other psychological disorders. In addition, he also uses Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to manage personality and help clients to accept themselves.

Dr. Campo applies different techniques for his clients. There are several diagnostic tests, mental examination, and observations to determine the problem.

Ethical and legal issues

Dr. Campo deals with clients with mental disorders. He strives to ensure that clients are open and reveal all details without feelings of guilt. Dr. Shaw tends to handle some family disputes involving couples and their children. He must avoid the legal path as clients struggle for custody of the children yet the children must bear all negative consequences of such battles.

The future of the field of psychology

Dr. Campo believes that psychiatry will require advanced qualifications. Practitioners will multitask and handle several cases. Most importantly, Dr. Campo believes that many clinical psychologists will be allowed to prescribe drugs after attaining the right qualifications and experience in their areas of specialization.

Dr. Shaw says that clinical psychology will become flexible and allow practitioners to attend to several related cases. Higher qualifications will be required, the levels of support and care will improve, and clinicians shall conduct their sessions through technologies across borders.

Enjoy about work

Both therapists believe that the ultimate goal is to restore clients’ mental health to normal status.

An aspiring psychologist or therapist

Dr. Shaw advises aspiring therapists to acquire required skills and learn new skills of delivering care to patients. Dr. Campo wants aspiring psychologists to understand several areas related to clinical psychology because of the uniqueness of different patients.


This paper focused on elements of clinical psychology to determine similarities and differences between psychiatry and clinical psychology practices. Two respondents in this interview offered treatments to different clients with mental conditions. Therapists used various techniques but with the ultimate goal of restoring clients’ health. The short research reveals how these professional services contribute to the well-being of their patients. Nevertheless, there are critical legal and ethical issues therapists must observe. In addition, they require higher qualifications and flexibility to treat different cases. The future is promising for aspiring therapists, but they will need the right qualifications for the complex environment.

Clinical Psychology Worksheet

The purpose of this essay is to explore different issues in the field of psychology. In recent years, many clinical psychologists have broadened their areas of practice and interests from mental conditions, related cases to general health. Hence, there is a new focus in the field of clinical psychology as an area of specialization concerned with the mental health and general well-being of patients. This has raised a number of interesting concerns about how best to ensure that therapists can work well and avoid many challenges, such as ethical and legal issues, professional boundaries, and cultural limitations among others.

At least two legal issues associated with clinical psychology

Confidentiality is a critical issue for clinical psychologists because of its ethical and legal aspects. Both codes of ethics and laws require therapists to maintain confidentiality about their clients (Hogan, 2007). Psychologists should not share details of their clients with any other persons. In this regard, all clinical records of patients must be safe and protected from potential breaches.

No psychologist should engage a client before obtaining written informed consent from him or her. If a patient cannot provide written consent for any reason, then a legally recognized person should do so on his or her behalf. Psychologists must recognize that patients have a right to revoke their consent at any time during their therapy sessions. In addition, psychologists must explain all issues related to informed consent before obtaining them.

It is unethical for psychologists to have sexual relationships with their clients during treatment (Isaac, 2009). However, it is legal behavior and therefore cannot be prosecuted.

At least two ethical issues associated with clinical psychology

Professional competence and services are required of all psychologists as ethical principles. Hence, suitable education, recent developments, training, and skills development are vital for psychologists. This requires that clinical psychologists must understand current events and new knowledge in the field. Psychologists, however, require approved standards to guide their practices because competence and professionalism are relative concepts. It is imperative to understand patients and their mental conditions before offering treatments.

All clients require their therapists to protect their rights and dignity. Clients have the right to privacy, reject treatment, and therapists must not discriminate against clients based on their individual characteristics. These diversities in people must be respected and protected.

Therapists should have their contracts at the beginning to guide the treatment processes. Such contracts should have clear goals, objectives, techniques, and expected outcomes. However, therapists who alter the terms of contracts to control or improve treatment for their clients could be legally held liable for unexpected outcomes or side effects of their treatments because of altered terms.

Professional boundaries, boundary crossings, and boundary violations

Clinical psychologists must recognize professional boundaries between them and their clients. They define acceptable conduct. Professional boundaries ensure that both the therapist and the client have their limits and personal space to engage in treatment. It gives opportunities for a sense of individualism during treatment.

Professional boundaries help clients and therapists to set required behaviors, expected relationships, and responsibilities. They protect both parties and personal relations.

In some instances, however, therapists may cross their professional boundaries. Boundary crossings reflect certain departures from the established professional boundaries. These departures could be accidental or intentional for different therapeutic reasons.

There is also boundary violation in which a psychologist goes beyond professional needs to personal needs of their patients. Such violations could have negative repercussions on the relationship between a therapist and a client. The major challenge is that there are no clear, fixed lines of these boundaries, but there are codes of conduct set by professional bodies.

At least two cultural limitations associated with assessment and treatment

Psychologists must consider cultural aspects in their practices before providing any services to clients. Failure to account for cultural elements is an inappropriate practice. Moreover, it is imperative to consider the cultural contexts of clients before making any decisions.

Cultural limitations may be experienced during patients’ assessments. Some assessment tools do not account for clients’ cultural orientation and values. It is however essential for assessment tools to account for cultural orientations.

Moreover, clients should understand the language used in assessment tools.

In most cases, assessment tools are the same for all patients, including the minority groups. For instance, a tool may be developed for a specific race or age group, but psychologists may use it for all their clients irrespective of their races. Some psychologists tend to believe that their techniques, standards, practices, and ideas are superior to others. There is a need for psychologists to adopt or develop culturally sensitive assessment tools for different clients so that outcomes can account for clients’ cultural differences (Plante, 2011).


This essay has explored some issues in the field of clinical psychology. The field has broadened and psychologists cater to many clients from different backgrounds. Consequently, issues of ethical and legal concerns have emerged. It is therefore imperative for psychologists to follow professional codes of ethics and legal framework in their jurisdictions. At the same time, professional boundaries must guide a client-therapist relationship to avoid conflicts. Cultural limitations may also negatively affect outcomes of therapeutic interventions because of failures to account for cultural differences of clients from diverse backgrounds. Therefore, psychologists should use culturally sensitive tools to enhance the outcomes of interventions.


Hogan, T. (2007). Psychological testing: a practical introduction (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Isaac, R. (2009). Ethics in the practice of clinical psychology. Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, 6(2), 69-74.

Plante, T. (2011). Contemporary clinical psychology. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

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