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Clinical Psychology

Definition:
Clinical psychology focuses on the intellectual, emotional, biological,
psychological, social, and behavioural aspects of human functioning
across the life span, in varying cultures, and at all socioeconomic
levels

Clinical Psychology is defined as the study of individuals, by


observation or experimentation with the intention of promoting
change.

Focus in Clinical Psychology:


To formulate an effective method of treatment, clinical psychologists
must not only determine that there is a problem but also must make a
specific diagnosis. That is, they must identify the specific disorder or
problem affecting the patient. Clinical psychologists are trained to
assess, and make functional diagnoses regarding intellectual level,
cognitive, emotional, social, and behavioural functioning, as well as
mental and psychological disorders.

o Diagnostic Measures:
1. To Integrate:
Clinical Psychologists integrates science and practice. They
look at the various strengths and weaknesses of different
genders or communities and difference between every
individual. Clinical Psychology integrates with various fields
of science such as, biology, genetics, evolution,
neuroscience and psychopharmacology.

2. To Predict:
The most demanding and necessary test of any
explanation is to see if it leads to predictions that are
supported by empirical research. The importance of
prediction, like description and explanation, is evident in
the work of psychologists helping individuals as well as in
the work of clinical researchers trying to understand a
problem in the general population. Prediction is possible
only through repeated observations in which conditions are
either controlled or well understood.

3. To Understand:
Although the science and the practice of clinical
psychology may sound different, they are linked by a
common way of thinking about people and the problems
they experience. A series of four tasks are central to how
clinical psychologists think about people and problems,
whether in generating research and knowledge for the field
as a whole or for gaining a better understanding of a given
individual. Accurate understanding of any individual or any
psychological problem begins with a careful description of
the person and the contexts in which she or he lives. In
individual cases this description includes attention to the
nature of the person's current functioning as well as a
careful documentation of his / her prior development.

o To Elevate:
Maladjustment, Disability & Discomfort:
Clinical psychologists tend to diagnose abnormal
behaviours and mental illnesses which lead to severe
problem for individuals to live a routine life. Clinical
Psychologists use research and experimentation to
understand how psychological disorders arise in human
beings. As Clinicians, psychologists seek to understand the
problems their clients experience and apply that
understanding to help them gain relief. The focus upon
maladjustment, disability, and discomfort is one of the
characteristics that set clinical psychology apart from other
sub disciplines of psychology.

o To Promote:
Human Adaptation, Adoption & Personal Development:
Clinical Psychology is distinguished by its emphasis upon
the human adaptation and personal development.
Psychology, as a science, seeks to understand the general
relationships among variables that govern behaviour.
Psychology is interested in understanding behaviour in the
light of scientific researches and experimentation. The
emphasis in clinical psychology is upon how general
principles can be applied to understand the individuals
personal development and his ability to adapt the
environment. Personal development covers activities that
improve awareness and identity, develop talents and
potential. Personal development takes place over the
course of a person's entire life. Personal development can
also include developing other people. This may take place
through roles such as those of a teacher or mentor.

Characteristics:
1. Intellectual:
Intellectual ability is the most important attribute in human
beings which deals with human abilities and capabilities,
short term and long term memory, retrieval of memory,
verbal comprehension, reasoning, analysing and problem
solving. Clinical psychologists are trained to assess, and make
functional diagnoses regarding intellectual level, cognitive,
emotional, social, and behavioral functioning, as well as mental
and psychological disorders.

2. Emotions:
Clinical psychology is concerned with different elevations in
emotions, to diagnose the emotions psychologists are
supposed to study and understand facial expressions, and
to define and diagnose expressions. Clinical science is
concerned with identification of patterns of problematic
behaviours, emotions, and thoughts that can be carefully
and reliably documented in more than one point in time.
Accurate description is dependent on tools for reliably
measuring the behaviours, thoughts, and feelings of
individuals.

3. Biological:
Clinical psychology has come to mean a broader area than
just mental illness of individuals. Among the ultimate aims
of clinical psychology are the psychological well-being and
beneficial behaviour of persons; therefore, it focuses on
internal psychobiological conditions and on external social
and physical environments within which individuals
function.

4. Psychological:
When a person experiences mood or cognitive problems or
behaviour issues for a long time a psychological evaluation
may be beneficial and a diagnosis of a psychological
disorder may follow, treatment frequently involved
psychotherapy, to work on behaviours, skill developments
and thought process. A person may be hospitalized for co-
existing medical problems, serious complications, severe
disorders, or substance abuse. The specific causes of
psychological disorders are not known, but contributing
factors may include chemical imbalances in the brain,
childhood experiences, heredity, illness, prenatal
exposures and stress.

5. Behavioural:
Factors that affect human behaviour include attitude,
perception, genetics, culture, social norms and ethics of a
society. Behaviour is influenced by environmental factors.
Behaviours exhibit humans at certain stages of
development. Psychological disorders may affect
behaviours severely.

Clinical Psychologist Liabilities:


1. Emphasis on Scientific Approach:
Clinical psychology is a sub discipline of psychology. A
couple of the assumptions of science that are particularly
important for understanding clinical psychology are
Determinism and Empiricism.
Determinism is the assumption that all events have causes
and these causes are potentially knowable. Science
assumes that the causes of events are not random but
follow some order or set of rules. These rules are also
potentially discoverable. Events can be understood if we
can identify all of the relevant rules for psychology then
the cause of behaviour are potentially knowable and are
assumed to follow a set of rules that are also identifiable.
Empiricism is the assumption that science concerns itself
with the events that are observable and measureable. This
is common sense. How can one study a phenomenon if the
phenomenon cannot be observed?
Hypothetical Constructs are not directly observable but are
known by their relationship to observable events. Example
of hypothetical construct in clinical psychology, include
anxiety, depression, self-efficacy, and intelligence.

2. Emphasis on Maladjustment:

Clinical psychology is a specialty within psychology that


concerns itself with abnormal behaviour and emotional
suffering. Clinical Psychology concerns itself with the
problems with which human beings struggle. As
researchers, clinical psychologists apply scientific methods
to understand how problems such as phobias, self-induced
vomiting, compulsive gambling, and many others develop
and are maintained. As Clinicians, psychologists seek to
understand the problems their clients experience and
apply that understanding to help them gain relief. The
focus upon maladjustment, disability, and discomfort is
one of the characteristics that set clinical psychology apart
from other sub disciplines of psychology.

3. Emphasis on Individual:
Clinical Psychology is distinguished by its emphasis upon
the human adaptation and personal development.
Psychology, as a science, seeks to understand the general
relationships among variables that govern behaviour.
Psychology is interested in understanding behaviour in the
light of scientific researches and experimentation. The
emphasis in clinical psychology is upon how general
principles can be applied to understand the individuals
personal development and his ability to adapt the
environment. Personal development covers activities that
improve awareness and identity, develop talents and
potential. Personal development takes place over the
course of a person's entire life. Personal development can
also include developing other people. This may take place
through roles such as those of a teacher or mentor.