Clinical psychology is the practice-based arm of psychological
studies and findings or the treatment of others as based on
psychological theory. This may principally involve giving therapy and
other treatments to individuals or groups. Some people would call it not
different than psychotherapy. Yet it is slightly different for several
First it is performed usually only by clinical psychologists, who
usually possess a PhD or PsyD,. Other people are trained to perform
therapy such as licensed clinical social workers, marriage and family
therapists, and licensed professional counselors, but they’re usually
not called clinical psychologists. Second, it includes more than
psychotherapy and may concern itself with things like educational
testing or psychological assessment. There can be range in definitions
and clinical psychologists may work in more than one field. For example,
a person working in clinical psychology might teach, supervise doctoral
candidates, and work as a psychotherapist.
In the practice of psychotherapy, not all people in clinical
psychology base their work on the same theoretical findings or work with
the same patient base. Psychologists could draw from one or more of the
many schools of thought that exist when deciding how to conduct therapy.
There is no standard “therapy” form and great difference exists in
Psychologists can treat a wide variety of patients or specialize
and work with certain groups. People can become predominantly child and
adolescent psychologists, couples or family therapists, or work most
with individuals. Sometimes a clinical psychologist may have specific
specialization in treating one group of people, such as those suffering
from a particular mental disorder or learning disorder like autism. As
people progress in their careers, their choices and training can help
decide in which areas of clinical psychology they’d like to work.
Clinical psychology can include testing and assessment, instead
of providing therapy. Sometimes this is classed differently, but part of
psychological research has been on the development of tests that can
gauge a person’s abilities, or suggest learning or emotional disorders.
Implementing this research by evaluating and diagnosing with a wide
variety of tests without subsequently providing treatment is a clinical
application of research. Psychologists who work in this manner would
usually make suggestions for treatment if they didn’t provide it.
Those specializing in clinical psychology may work in many
different settings. School psychologists practice with students, many
psychologists work in private practice or in institutes for those with
mental illness, and sometimes the work of forensic psychologists is also
referred to as clinical practice. Many times psychologists work with
other mental health professionals like social workers and psychiatrists,
and may be part of mental health teams that provide different aspects of
care for people. Other times they principally work only with clientele.