Clinical psychology is a sub branch of psychology and is usually concerned with the prevention and alleviation of mental and emotional disorders. It involves the use of medical science to address mental health challenges. The integration of clinical medicine into science assists the psychologists to promote the mental well- being of their patients. A clinical psychologist must be professionally trained and educated on the aspect of medical psychology.
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Long term training is crucial to all psychologists. Psychology helps in the reduction of distress and malfunction of the brain and the body. A clinical psychology therapy assists the sick patient achieve personal satisfaction and organizational productivity at the work place. Mental dysfunction in people may result from socio-cultural factors like traditions and economic challenges. Lightner Witmer developed the first psychiatric center in the world.
The hospital helped minors with learning challenges. Lightner successfully treated a boy with spelling problems. However, the psychologist had earlier attempted to treat mental illness using religious approaches. Lightner’s report indicated that the boy had been disturbed by evil spirits. During this era, people with mental distress would seek cure from psychiatrists. In the 17th Century, clinical psychology was not a recognized way of treating mental illness.
World War 1 led to the recognition of clinical psychology as a curative mechanism of mental distress due to the success of its assessments on the soldiers during the war. The success of clinical psychology during World War 1 led to the formation of professional organizations like the American Psychological Association in 1892 by Stanley Hall.
Another professional association, the Veterans Administration, created hospitals and clinical positions for psychologists in order to help them provide assessment and treatment services to individuals in the US. It also helped clinical psychologists to access paid internship positions for graduate students.
The field of clinical psychology experienced additional developments during the World War 2. In 1945, the American Psychological Association experienced structural adjustments that led to the creation of the Society of Clinical Divisions that is currently the leading organization in the field of psychology.
During World War 2, soldiers would return from battle with serious traumatic effects. Great numbers of women and men experienced mental disorders as a result of the war. As a result, the government formed a special unit to deal with the health of war veterans. The Veterans Administration established hospitals and clinics that would cater for psychological disorders in patients. The government made huge budgetary allocations on the training of additional psychologists that would treat the large numbers of war veterans.
Clinical psychology has evolved due to many factors. Its advancement may be related to progressive scientific research that leads to the growth of various domains like biology, chemistry, physics and technology. Clinical psychology utilizes modern medicine and science. It also incorporates technology that psychologists use in the knowledge of the reaction of the body and its functions.
Advanced technology assists clinical psychologists in the development of efficient drugs for clinical psychology. Traditional clinical psychology utilizes the concept of psychotherapy and its subsequent processes. The relationship between the practice of clinical psychology and the body continues to contribute to the evolutionary nature of psychology.
Clinical psychologists propose that the government should adopt psychological interventions in a gradual manner. This aspect stresses the importance of the acquisition of appropriate mental statuses for all people. The introduction of virtual reality (VR) has led to the success of modern psychology that does not incorporate the use of psychotherapy. The adoption of virtual reality assists patients in the identification of new ways that may address their mental health problems.
Clinical psychologists incorporate the use of statistical data in their work. Inferential statistics helps clinical psychologists to make informed decisions about certain mental disorders or the number of people that undergo mental challenges without their knowledge. Statistics are usually a result of the conducted research and prove whether the government can use the information obtained for large populations of people. Statistical data enables psychologists think innovatively during the design of efficient treatment of patients.
Statistical data provides the necessary evidence that clinical psychologists need when providing recommendations for treatment of mental disorders of patients. Research provides challenges to clinical psychologists that justify their adoption of specialized techniques of treatment of mental cases (Marjorie, 2008).
Clinical psychologists should analyze and appropriately interpret research findings. Statistics also helps psychologists to adopt quantitative and qualitative interpretations of statistical data that helps them to handle challenges that arise from the research.
Psychology comprises of different sub-branches like school, counseling and social psychology. Mental health professionals provide a degree of mental disorders’ interventions.
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Different branches of mental health psychology usually aim at providing and improving mental statuses of people through an understanding of human behavior. However, psychologists that work under various disciplines of psychology may be professionally trained to handle mental health of patients but not all mental health specialists qualify to be psychologists. Clinical psychologists usually undergo specialized training, unlike other psychologists.
The integration of medical expertise into clinical psychology makes the discipline complex in terms of the entry grades of students into the profession. Counseling psychology tends to be similar to clinical psychology. Counseling psychologists provide treatment to individuals with simple mental disorders like school or books’ related stress. They feature mostly in academic settings. Clinical psychologists feature in medical contexts.
School psychologists are crucial in the education sector because they develop a student’s emotional growth. Social growth is an important aspect for a learner and a school psychologist should, therefore, develop the attribute. Psychiatrists are medical professionals. They possess extensive and intensive experience and training on the biological aspects of the body (Musker, 2012). Psychiatrists do not usually undergo training on mental processes. They can administer medical treatment on patients.
This aspect may bring about controversy because clinical psychologists are not allowed to provide medication to clients, unlike psychiatrists. Social work professionals are required to have appropriate professional qualifications in social studies. They are allowed to provide assessment and not medication to clients. Social work professionals differ from psychological professionals in that they mostly dwell on social issues. They do not acquire medical knowledge.
Their training involves acquisition of minimal knowledge on biological components, unlike clinical psychologists. Modern psychology faces numerous challenges related to the need for additional research and integration of technology.
The government must, therefore, formulate measures to regulate psychological interventions at every level of the society. It must allocate funds towards the incorporation of bodies that streamline education and training of clinical psychologists. The state must also integrate monitoring and evaluation measures to reinforce the need for professional based clinical psychology.
Musker, K. (2012). Unitary Pattern: A Review of Theoretical Literature. Journal of Nursing Science Quarterly, (25)3, 253-260.
Marjorie C. (2008). Moving Nursing Science Forward Within the Framework of the Roy Adaptation Model. Journal of Nursing Science Quarterly, (21) 3, 255-259.