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What has come to be called the "clinical versus statistical prediction" debate was first described in detail in by Paul Meehl , [35] where he explored the claim that mechanical formal, algorithmic methods of data combination could outperform clinical e. Meehl concluded that mechanical modes of combination performed as well or better than clinical modes.

Psychotherapy involves a formal relationship between professional and client—usually an individual, couple, family, or small group—that employs a set of procedures intended to form a therapeutic alliance, explore the nature of psychological problems, and encourage new ways of thinking, feeling, or behaving.

Clinicians have a wide range of individual interventions to draw from, often guided by their training—for example, a cognitive behavioral therapy CBT clinician might use worksheets to record distressing cognitions, a psychoanalyst might encourage free association , while a psychologist trained in Gestalt techniques might focus on immediate interactions between client and therapist.

Clinical psychologists generally seek to base their work on research evidence and outcome studies as well as on trained clinical judgment. Although there are literally dozens of recognized therapeutic orientations, their differences can often be categorized on two dimensions: insight vs. The methods used are also different in regards to the population being served as well as the context and nature of the problem. Therapy will look very different between, say, a traumatized child, a depressed but high-functioning adult, a group of people recovering from substance dependence, and a ward of the state suffering from terrifying delusions.

Other elements that play a critical role in the process of psychotherapy include the environment, culture, age, cognitive functioning, motivation, and duration i. Many clinical psychologists are integrative or eclectic and draw from the evidence base across different models of therapy in an integrative way, rather than using a single specific model. In the UK, clinical psychologists have to show competence in at least two models of therapy, including CBT, to gain their doctorate.

The British Psychological Society Division of Clinical Psychology has been vocal about the need to follow the evidence base rather than being wedded to a single model of therapy. The psychodynamic perspective developed out of the psychoanalysis of Sigmund Freud. The core object of psychoanalysis is to make the unconscious conscious—to make the client aware of his or her own primal drives namely those relating to sex and aggression and the various defenses used to keep them in check.

Major variations on Freudian psychoanalysis practiced today include self psychology , ego psychology , and object relations theory. These general orientations now fall under the umbrella term psychodynamic psychology , with common themes including examination of transference and defenses, an appreciation of the power of the unconscious, and a focus on how early developments in childhood have shaped the client's current psychological state.

Humanistic psychology was developed in the s in reaction to both behaviorism and psychoanalysis, largely due to the person-centered therapy of Carl Rogers often referred to as Rogerian Therapy and existential psychology developed by Viktor Frankl and Rollo May. From , Hans-Werner Gessmann integrated the ideas of humanistic psychology into group psychotherapy as humanistic psychodrama. The mission of the humanistic psychologist is to help the individual employ these resources via the therapeutic relationship.

Cognitive behavioral therapy CBT developed from the combination of cognitive therapy and rational emotive behavior therapy , both of which grew out of cognitive psychology and behaviorism. CBT is based on the theory that how we think cognition , how we feel emotion , and how we act behavior are related and interact together in complex ways. In this perspective, certain dysfunctional ways of interpreting and appraising the world often through schemas or beliefs can contribute to emotional distress or result in behavioral problems. The object of many cognitive behavioral therapies is to discover and identify the biased, dysfunctional ways of relating or reacting and through different methodologies help clients transcend these in ways that will lead to increased well-being.

Modified approaches that fall into the category of CBT have also developed, including dialectic behavior therapy and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Behavior therapy is a rich tradition. It is well researched with a strong evidence base. Its roots are in behaviorism. In behavior therapy, environmental events predict the way we think and feel. Our behavior sets up conditions for the environment to feedback back on it. Sometimes the feedback leads the behavior to increase- reinforcement and sometimes the behavior decreases- punishment. Oftentimes behavior therapists are called applied behavior analysts or behavioral health counselors.

They have studied many areas from developmental disabilities to depression and anxiety disorders.

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In the area of mental health and addictions a recent article looked at APA's list for well established and promising practices and found a considerable number of them based on the principles of operant and respondent conditioning. In addition, multiple intervention programs have come from this tradition including community reinforcement approach for treating addictions, acceptance and commitment therapy , functional analytic psychotherapy , including dialectic behavior therapy and behavioral activation.

In addition, specific techniques such as contingency management and exposure therapy have come from this tradition.


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Systems or family therapy works with couples and families, and emphasizes family relationships as an important factor in psychological health. The central focus tends to be on interpersonal dynamics, especially in terms of how change in one person will affect the entire system.

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Goals can include improving communication, establishing healthy roles, creating alternative narratives, and addressing problematic behaviors. There exist dozens of recognized schools or orientations of psychotherapy—the list below represents a few influential orientations not given above. Although they all have some typical set of techniques practitioners employ, they are generally better known for providing a framework of theory and philosophy that guides a therapist in his or her working with a client.

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In the last couple of decades, there has been a growing movement to integrate the various therapeutic approaches, especially with an increased understanding of cultural, gender, spiritual, and sexual-orientation issues. Clinical psychologists are beginning to look at the various strengths and weaknesses of each orientation while also working with related fields, such as neuroscience , behavioral genetics , evolutionary biology , and psychopharmacology.

The result is a growing practice of eclecticism, with psychologists learning various systems and the most efficacious methods of therapy with the intent to provide the best solution for any given problem. The field of clinical psychology in most countries is strongly regulated by a code of ethics. The APA Code generally sets a higher standard than that which is required by law as it is designed to guide responsible behavior, the protection of clients, and the improvement of individuals, organizations, and society.

This has four key areas: Respect, Competence, Responsibility and Integrity. Although clinical psychologists and psychiatrists can be said to share a same fundamental aim—the alleviation of mental distress—their training, outlook, and methodologies are often quite different. Perhaps the most significant difference is that psychiatrists are licensed physicians.

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As such, psychiatrists often use the medical model to assess psychological problems i. Psychiatrists and medical psychologists who are clinical psychologists that are also licensed to prescribe are able to conduct physical examinations, order and interpret laboratory tests and EEGs , and may order brain imaging studies such as CT or CAT , MRI , and PET scanning. Clinical psychologists generally do not prescribe medication, although there is a growing movement for psychologists to have prescribing privileges. Counseling psychologists undergo the same level of rigor in study and use many of the same interventions and tools as clinical psychologists, including psychotherapy and assessment.

Traditionally, counseling psychologists helped people with what might be considered normal or moderate psychological problems—such as the feelings of anxiety or sadness resulting from major life changes or events. Many counseling psychologists also receive specialized training in career assessment, group therapy, and relationship counseling. Counseling psychology as a field values multiculturalism [67] and social advocacy, often stimulating research in multicultural issues.

There are fewer counseling psychology graduate programs than those for clinical psychology and they are more often housed in departments of education rather than psychology. Counseling psychologists tend to be more frequently employed in university counseling centers compared to hospitals and private practice for clinical psychologists. Distinctions between the two fields continue to fade. School psychologists are primarily concerned with the academic, social, and emotional well-being of children and adolescents within a scholastic environment. Like clinical and counseling psychologists, school psychologists with doctoral degrees are eligible for licensure as health service psychologists, and many work in private practice.

Unlike clinical psychologists, they receive much more training in education, child development and behavior, and the psychology of learning.

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Common degrees include the Educational Specialist Degree Ed. Traditional job roles for school psychologists employed in school settings have focused mainly on assessment of students to determine their eligibility for special education services in schools, and on consultation with teachers and other school professionals to design and carry out interventions on behalf of students.

Other major roles also include offering individual and group therapy with children and their families, designing prevention programs e. Social workers provide a variety of services, generally concerned with social problems, their causes, and their solutions. With specific training, clinical social workers may also provide psychological counseling in the U. The Masters in Social Work in the U. Occupational therapy —often abbreviated OT—is the "use of productive or creative activity in the treatment or rehabilitation of physically, cognitively, or emotionally disabled people.

Occupational therapy practitioners are skilled professionals whose education includes the study of human growth and development with specific emphasis on the physical, emotional, psychological, sociocultural, cognitive and environmental components of illness and injury. They commonly work alongside clinical psychologists in settings such as inpatient and outpatient mental health, pain management clinics, eating disorder clinics, and child development services.

OT's use support groups, individual counseling sessions, and activity-based approaches to address psychiatric symptoms and maximize functioning in life activities. Clinical psychology is a diverse field and there have been recurring tensions over the degree to which clinical practice should be limited to treatments supported by empirical research.

watch It has been reported that clinical psychology has rarely allied itself with client groups and tends to individualize problems to the neglect of wider economic, political and social inequality issues that may not be the responsibility of the client. An October editorial in the journal Nature suggests that a large number of clinical psychology practitioners in the United States consider scientific evidence to be "less important than their personal — that is, subjective — clinical experience. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.