Clinical Psychology

What is clinical psychology?

Clinical psychology is the branch of psychology that deals with the investigation, evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, prognosis and rehabilitation of all those issues that affect mental health and that can generate discomfort or suffering in people.

Clinical psychology studies the elements that have some kind of incidence in mental disorders or maladaptive behavior of people with the aim of restoring their psychological balance.

The origins of clinical psychology date back to 1896 with Lightner Witmer in the first decades of the twentieth century, being psychotherapy and psychological counseling two of the most important practices of this discipline.

What illnesses does clinical psychology treat?

The psychological symptoms that clinical psychology can manage or work with are various. These include somatic disorders, psychic disorders and behavioral disorders. Some of the diseases covered by clinical psychology are elements that are developed within psychology itself. Some of the main problems that clinical psychology deals with are:

  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Acute stress disorder
  • Somatization
  • Sexual dysfunctions
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional dependence
  • Insomnia and sleep disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Couples therapy

Clinical psychology covers different areas

What subspecialties are there within clinical psychology?

Throughout its history, clinical psychology has developed little by little, covering different areas within psychology. Some of the studies

  • Social psychology
  • Psychopathology
  • Family and couple psychology
  • Clinical child and adolescent psychology
  • Psychotherapy
  • Adult clinical psychology
  • Psychological evaluation
  • Clinical neuropsychology
  • Neuropsychological rehabilitation
  • Community psychology
  • Psychosociology
  • Psychoneuroimmunology
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When is it necessary to go to a clinical psychologist?

The main difference between the clinical psychologist and the psychologist is that the former, upon completion of his degree, must access the Public Health System through the PIR, a kind of MIR in which the psychologist specializes by receiving hospital training in the field of mental health.

Thus, the clinical psychologist is the one who is dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders when the action of other professionals is necessary. The clinical psychologist works in the health care setting, since he/she is in contact with patients requiring hospitalization.