Clinical Psychology

Probably the single larges subfield in psychology, the clinical area studies and attempts to treat people who suffer from serious subjective distress as well as the milder problems of modern life. This subfield in particular combines many of the above approaches.

Clinical Psychology is the largest single sub-field in psychology which assesses and treats children or adults in groups or as individuals. Clinical psychologists assess and treat learning disabilities, serious mental disorders and substance use disorders as well as other important problems people encounter in trying to come to terms with life’s difficulties, such as depression, anxiety, divorce or job loss.

These psychologists assess problems using a variety of tests for assessment of intelligence, aptitude and personality, and they treat people using methods from one or another of the approaches to psychology, say, psychodynamically oriented therapy, behaviour therapy, cognitive therapy or one of the many orientations found in humanistic psychology.

Clinical psychologists often work with medical doctors, psychiatrists, social workers and mental health nurses, so their training must be broad enough to permit them to understand some of the concepts used by other disciplines.

Clinical psychologists usually confine their practice to specific sub-groups, such as children, or to particular problem areas such as mental retardation or anxiety disorders.

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