Psychology can be defined as the study of human mind and the behavior pattern of humanity. Moreover, the study also focuses on the human experiences that may result in the behavior pattern being skewed to a certain direction. The study ranges from the study of nations development, child development to the care offered to the aged within the society. Clinical psychology the primary goal of psychology as a school of study is to find the best solutions for the psychological disorders and problems that do occur within societies. Moreover, it also deals with the assessment and treatment of the behavioral problems. According to Plante (2011), he argues that psychology does focus on studying the interaction between human psyche and the emotional, social and physical aspects of dysfunction. It is through psychology that one can be able to make correct predictions and understand the emotional, biological and the behavioral functioning of human beings. Psychology has been used to help those who experience emotional problems, physical and relationship problems in their lives (Plante, 2011).
Clinical psychology has had a tremendous period of evolution ever since it came into existence. It is thought that the field of psychology was invented by one Lightner Witmer way back in the year 1896, just a short period after he had opened his first clinic. His invention resulted in an increased research and scientific exploration in the field. The academia research that had previously been done by the Greeks aided in the research process because there was already existing information on the relation between a human beings brain and the entire body system (Watson, 1953). Two scientists had already established that a human’s soul was entirely in charge of the functioning of the body system. Moreover, it was established that any problem that occurred in the human beings soul could easily result in a physical illness (Mora, 1985 as cited by Plante, 2011). During the early years, people believed that the mental illnesses were a curse that was brought upon the people who exhibited unwanted behavior in the societies. However, the renaissance period brought a little change on that by creating contradictory beliefs that were purely based on scientific facts. The renaissance period saw the introduction of scientific methods of experiments and treatment processes. The indigenous beliefs in super natural spirits were slowly washed away. The new era of psychology came into existence through the powerful thoughts of philosophers such as Sigmund Freud. The philosophers initiated the study of the link of the human brain and the behavior pattern of human beings. The breakthrough however came in the year 1879 when the “father of experimental psychology” by the name Wilhelm Wundt came up with the first psychology laboratory (Watson, 1953). The laboratory was built within the German learning institution. The move by Wilhelm is what resulted to the creation of psychology as a field of study, separate and independent from philosophy. Additionally, the formation of the psychology association that took place in the year 1892, catapulted the entire process of coming up with a field of psychology. The association formed in 1892 was given the name American Psychological Association. Four years after the formation of the association is when Lightner Witmer opened his first psychological clinic that resulted in the emergence of the field of clinical psychology. That was the first step of the emergence of clinical psychology as a field of psychology. Ever since the field was invented, it has remained to be the most popular field within the field of psychology. The field has since been so diverse to an extent that it has a number of subspecialties as well as practitioner – focused enterprises. Clinical psychology has also been linked closely with other field of psychology such as psychiatry and social work. However, there are also a number of differences that separates those areas of study.
Role of research and statistics in clinical psychology
Clinical psychology has had a vast and rich history in empirical research that was conducted in the previous years. According to Riesman (1981), areas such as psychotherapy, psychopathology and diagnosis are just some of the areas that have experienced the use of empirical research in the past. Clinical psychology is a field that cannot be separated from research at any given time. For instance, clinical science is an area that primarily focuses on conducting experiments aimed at providing facts to some of the clinical psychology problems. There is also the area of applied clinical science that focuses on the use and application of scientific methods in the field of scientific knowledge. Research has therefore been very important in the field pf clinical psychology because it creates a link between science and application of such knowledge. The two fields of clinical science and practice are therefore interconnected in one way or the other because one area creates information that informs the other party. None of them can exist as a single entity because the knowledge generated by one party is what the second relies on for its existence to make sense. So many areas of clinical psychology are integrated to the clinical research making the two interdependent.
Statistics and clinical psychology are two areas that cannot be separated whatsoever because they all need one another for them to be fully functional. A good example is a case where a research was conducted on the post traumatic stress that occurred majorly on the retired military personnel. The process had to engage the use of statistical analysis in order to get the correct solution for the research problem that was under investigation. The research was able to establish that the release of trauma and other feelings that were related to it had a way of affecting and making the situation get worse. In that case, the severity of the problem would have never been known if the statistical analysis had not been done. Moreover, those who suffered from that problem would never have had an end to their problems.
Clinical psychology as a field of study has also seen the involvement of statistics especially in the process of developing new theories as well as in conducting evaluative measures and tests. Previous old tests that were conducted in the past have been recently improved through the use of research and statistical evaluation process. What happens to the old research is that the cohorts that were used in the past are compared to the new cohorts in the new experiments. Once the results of the new cohorts have been obtained, the two are then compared to one another through the use of statistical confidence level. This process has been proved to be an effective way of improving on the experiment results that were previously obtained thereby making it more effective and reliable.
A clinical psychologist is a person who has undergone studies with the primary aim of understanding, treating as well as preventing the recurrences of mental disorders in the future. On the other hand, a psychiatrist is a health professional who trains as a medical practitioner with specialty in treating serious mental disorder such as schizophrenia and even severe depression (Crossroads Psychological Associates). A social worker is a person whose study primarily focuses on the social factors and the intervention that can be executed at a social level.
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