Clinical psychology, what is it?

Clinical psychology, what is it?

Clinical psychology It is a branch of psychology that specializes in the psychological well-being of individuals. It is convenient to know more about it to determine when to go to a clinical psychologist.

As time has passed, psychology has evolved and shaped new specialties, in order to meet the demands of people, in regard to mental health.

Some research states that psychology: "is a science that is defined by the study of behavior in all its manifestations and contexts"; Of course, this encompasses a large number of activities, actions and behaviors.

Being like that, It is a fact that psychology needs to be divided in order to deal with each specific case more fully.

In the case of clinical psychology, it carries out the evaluations, establishes diagnoses and focuses on the treatment of mental disorders, as well as promotes the integral well-being of the person.

The main centers where clinical psychologists work is in general hospitals, clinical institutions, mental health services, among others.


  • 1 History of clinical psychology
  • 2 What are the functions of clinical psychology?
  • 3 What are the working tools of clinical psychology?

History of clinical psychology

Studies on the history of psychology have recorded that, formerly, cultures such as the Egyptian, Chinese, Hebrew and Greek, considered certain behaviors as those of those who had been possessed by demons or by gods.

In the Middle Ages, it was the priests who took care of people with mental disorders.

So, the place of confinement for these people were the monasteries. There. Individuals received holy water, prayers, exorcisms, among other methods that sought to reduce discomfort.

However, by 1879, experimental psychology begins, and it is due to Wilhelm Wund the beginnings of it in laboratories. This meant a breakthrough, as it is considered the most important pillar for clinical psychology.

The first clinical psychology care center is attributed to Lighnet Witmer, in the year 1896.

In this center, diagnoses were elaborated and worked following the guidelines of scientific psychology.

Witmer had a key role for this specialty, since, Thanks to his contributions, the subject of clinical psychology began to be taught at the University of Pennsylvania. The rest is history we know.

What are the functions of clinical psychology?

Among the main functions of this specialty are the following:

  • Evaluation.
  • Diagnostics
  • Treatment, intervention and rehabilitation.
  • Advising
  • Investigation.
  • Promotion and prevention of mental health.
  • Teaching.
  • Health center management, among others.

Clinical psychology does not hold the air to fulfill its functions. Unlike, makes use of a cluster of tools that make it possible.

What are the working tools of clinical psychology?

There are several tools used by the clinical psychologist to perform his duties successfully, such as:

  • Interviews to gather information.
  • Psychological tests
  • Psychophysiological records, to be able to make measurements of the physiological responses that the organism emits.
  • Psychological therapies.
  • Exercises that help the patient to make a self-analysis of their behaviors or thoughts.
  • Psychological reports with the information that has been collected.
  • Techniques for behavior modification.
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Coping techniques

These are just some of the tools that clinical psychologists use. Well, this will also depend on each case you attend.

Other specialties of psychology

It is important to be clear that, in addition to clinical psychology there are also other specialties within the wide world of psychology. Some of these areas are:

  1. Health Psychology.
  2. Psychology of the education.
  3. Psychological counseling.
  4. Neuropsychology
  5. Forensic psychology.
  6. Occupational psychology.
  7. Sports psychology.
  8. Social psychology.
  9. Research and teaching of psychology.
  10. Road Psychology
  11. Psychology of adolescence.
  12. Child psychology.
  13. Geriatric psychology and gerontology.
  14. Emergency psychology and catastrophes.
  15. Family psychology, among others.

Depending on the needs of each person, the approach you need may vary.

However, we observe that clinical psychology is increasing every day, as more individuals demand their services.

Finally, if you want to know if you need a clinical psychologist, we remind you that they treat the following problems:

  • Childhood problems.
  • Problems in adolescence.
  • Mood disorders.
  • Personality disorders.
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Sleep disorders.
  • Eating disorder.
  • Disorders associated with substance use.
  • Cognitive disorders
  • Adaptive disorders, and others.

It is worth clarifying that, In the case of psychiatry, this is a medical specialty, but, among all the specialties, this is the one that is closest to clinical psychology As for your object of study.


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