Clinical psychology is the psychological specialty that provides continuing and comprehensive mental and behavioral health care for individuals and families; consultation to agencies and communities; training, education and supervision; and research-based practice. It is a specialty in breadth — one that is broadly inclusive of severe psychopathology — and marked by comprehensiveness and integration of knowledge and skill from a broad array of disciplines within and outside of psychology proper. The scope of clinical psychology encompasses all ages, multiple diversities and varied systems.
Advanced Scientific and Theoretical Knowledge Germane to the Specialty
- Understanding of psychopathology and diagnostic/intervention considerations.
- Mental health issues across the lifespan based on a solid understanding of psychopathology.
- Assessment: ability to integrate and synthesize personality test data with additional standardized assessment measures.
- Consultation: ability to consult with other health and behavioral health care professionals and organizations regarding severe psychopathology, suicide and violence.
- Research Base: engagement with specific research and critical review of science, knowledge and methods pertaining to those areas identified as distinct to clinical psychology.
Parameters to Define Professional Practice in Clinical Psychology
Clinical psychology as a specialty provides services to individuals and families across the lifespan and from all ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as groups and communities.
The specialty of clinical psychology addresses behavioral and mental health issues faced by individuals across the lifespan including:
- Intellectual, emotional, psychological, social and behavioral maladjustment.
- Disability and discomfort.
- Minor adjustment issues as well as severe psychopathology.
- Assessment: diagnostic interviewing, behavioral assessment, administration and interpretation of psychological test measures
- Intervention (primary, secondary and tertiary levels): clinical services to individuals, families and groups
- Consultation: inter- and intra-professional practice with other health and behavioral health professionals and organizations
- Research: engagement with specific research and critical review of science, knowledge and methods pertaining to clinical psychology.