Clinical psychology is a combination of science, theory and clinical knowledge aiming to understand, prevent and relieve psychological distress or dysfunctions. As well as this, the discipline tries to promote an individual well being and personal development.
Clinical psychology focuses on psychological assessment, psychotherapy and clinical formulation. However, clinical psychologists engage also in research, consultation, teaching, forensic testimony, as well as program development and administration.
The discipline has started become important in 1896, with the foundation of the psychological clinic at the University of Pennsylvania.
Over the first half of the 20th-century clinical psychology was focused on the psychological assessment, without focusing on treatment. However, this situation has changed since the 1940s.
Clinical psychologists have to deal with different activities, which range from research to teaching. However, most of them also engage with clinical activities including provision of psychotherapy and psychological assessment.
Usually, clinical psychologists work in clinics with individuals, couples and families. However, they can operate also in hospitals, schools, businesses and nonprofit agencies.
In each country, this discipline is regulated by a code of ethics (e.g. in the UK, it focuses on the concepts of respects, responsibility, competence and integrity).
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