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Clinical Psychology

Clinical psychology is the scientific study, diagnosis, and treatment of people who have psychological problems adjusting to themselves and the environment. Clinical psychologists deal with both normal and abnormal behaviour. They administer and interpret psychological tests, and assist in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. They also study the structure and development of personality. 

Clinical psychology is a scientific and applied field of psychology. That is, it puts into practice the theories developed in the different fields of psychology. For example, clinical psychologists apply many findings of abnormal psychology when they diagnose and treat mental disorders. They also draw knowledge from the fields of learning, motivation, perception, personality, developmental psychology, physiological psychology, and social psychology. Clinical psychologists work in government, hospitals, clinics, universities, and private practice. Their chief activities are (1) testing and diagnosis, (2) psychotherapy and consultation, and (3) research. 

Testing and diagnosis. 

Clinical psychologists develop, administer, and interpret tests that measure aptitude, intelligence, and personality. These tests can be used in diagnosing mental disorders. They are also used to help determine proper placements for people in schools and jobs.  

Psychotherapy and consultation. 

Clinical psychologists treat mental disorders that result in disturbed human relationships or individual anxiety or unhappiness. They deal with brief, minor disturbances such as stress resulting from a school failure or grief due to the loss of a loved one. They also try to solve the prolonged problems of internal emotional conflicts often called neuroses and of psychoses. Psychoses are problems in which a person's thoughts, feelings, words, or perceptions are severely unrealistic. 

Psychotherapy is the clinical psychologist's chief tool in treating mental disorders. In most kinds of psychotherapy, the psychologist talks with the patient in a series of informal interviews. In most cases, the psychologist tries to help the patient understand the cause of the patient's personality disturbance. 

Understanding and preventing mental disorders is an important goal of clinical psychologists. They develop and take part in consultation programmes to educate the public in methods of improving child care and relationships and expanding mental health facilities. They also work with the clergy, teachers, and others who deal with children to help identify and solve psychological problems that develop at an early stage. 


Clinical psychologists are trained to design and conduct scientific experiments. Through their knowledge and use of research techniques, they improve various methods of diagnosing and treating mental disorders. They propose and test new theories on the structure and development of personality. They also develop and evaluate new testing and treatment methods.



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