Clinical Psychology

Clinical psychology is the psychological specialty that provides continuing and comprehensive mental and behavioral health care for individuals, couples, families, and groups; consultation to agencies and communities; training, education and supervision; and research-based practice. It is a specialty in breadth — one that addresses a wide range of mental and behavioral health problems— and marked by comprehensiveness and integration of knowledge and skill from a broad array of disciplines within and outside of psychology proper. The scope of clinical psychology encompasses all ages, multiple diversities, and varied systems. 

 

 

 

Specialized knowledge

  • Understanding of psychopathology and mental health across the lifespan 

  • Ability to assess cognitive, behavioral, emotional, and interpersonal functioning, and to integrate and synthesize test data with observations, interviews, and other data sources 

  • Ability to conduct psychological and behavioral intervention to improve health and functioning using a wide range of evidence-based interventions 

  • Ability to conduct, disseminate, and implement research on a range of clinical psychological processes  

  • Establishment and maintenance of therapeutic relationships and communication with a broad diversity of populations 

  • Ability to recognize and respond to ethical, legal, regulatory issues as they pertain to the practice of clinical psychology 

  • Understanding of professional expectations that guide behavior, promote self-reflection, integrity, and accountability 

  • Awareness and understanding of how developmental stages and life transitions intersect with the larger biosociocultural context, how identity evolves as a function of such intersections, and how these different socialization and maturation experiences influence worldview and identity 

 

Problems addressed

Populations

Clinical psychology as a specialty provides services to individuals and families across the lifespan and from all ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as groups and communities.

Problems/Issues

The specialty of clinical psychology addresses behavioral and mental health issues faced by individuals across the lifespan including:

  • Adjustment issues and traumatic stress reactions

  • Emotional and psychological problems, including serious mental illness and crisis intervention

  • Interpersonal or social problems and dysfunction

  • Behavioral problems including substance abuse and dependence

  • Intellectual, cognitive, and neurological conditions

 

Populations served

Clinical psychologists provide services to individuals, couples, and families across the lifespan, and populations from all ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The problems or needs addressed range from minor adjustment issues to serious mental health problems. Clinical psychologists work with groups and communities to address or prevent problems and intervene in organizations, institutions, and communities to enhance people’s effectiveness and well-being.

 

Skills and procedures utilized

  • Assessment using interviewing, behavioral assessment, administration and interpretation of psychological test measures

  • Intervention using a range of evidence-based approaches for individuals, families, and groups

  • Supervision and training of students and other trainees as guided by theory and research

  • Consultation with a range of health and behavioral health professionals and organizations

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