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What is Clinical Psychology and Why is Clinical Psychology Needed?

abnormal psychology, clinical psychology

In today’s episode of The Psychology World Podcast, we’ll be looking the abnormal psychology topic of What is Clinical Psychology and Why is it Needed?

Also, today’s episode is supported by my new Clinical Psychology Book.

Below is an Extract from Chapter of Clinical Psychology:

What is Clinical Psychology and Why is It Needed?

This is a difficult question to answer as I’ll explain in a moment but I love clinical psychology and abnormal psychology. As they both deal with mental conditions and helping people.

Also, clinical and abnormal psychology are the same thing so you can use the terms interchangeably.

But in case you’re wondering; because you read my Abnormal Psychology 2nd Edition first or you have seen this book; why I use two different names. It’s because my Abnormal Psychology 2nd Edition focuses more on mental conditions and mental health difficulties like depression and anxiety disorders as well as treatment.

Whereas this clinical psychology book focuses on the detail of WHAT clinical psychology is and what it involves.

What is Clinical Psychology?

Clinical Psychology is a subfield of psychology that focuses on mental health and research has shown that clinical psychology can aid recovery and alleviate people’s suffering in relation to many difficulties. For example, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia amongst other conditions.

In addition, clinical psychologists apply psychological theory and research so they can understand and alleviate people’s distress.

Whilst, focusing on the key concepts of assessment, formulation, treatment and evaluation. (Jones and Hartley (2015)

We will focus on each of these critical areas in this book as if you want to learn more about Clinical Psychology then you NEED to know about these areas.

The Complexity of Clinical Psychology:

As I’ve previously preluded, clinical psychology isn’t an easy area of psychology to define due to the many complex roles that Clinical Psychology involves.

This is why when you ask a clinical psychologist- what is it?

They tend to give you a vague answer due to the differing and diverse roles that occur in Clinical Psychology, and this is before we consider the wide range of task and settings that people work in!

Yet we might as well consider it now and relook at it later in more depth as Clinical

Psychologists work in a wide range of settings. For instance:

· Children and adolescents

· Learning disabilities

· Working aged adults

· Health

· Forensic

Furthermore, the intention and, to be honest, the entire point of Clinical Psychology is to empower people to feel better by learning to tolerant, accept or manage their distresses differently or by changing how people see themselves and their situation.

The above will be made more clear as we travel through this book.

All you need to know for now is that Clinical Psychology seeks to help people and alleviate their distress.

Nevertheless, it’s all well and good talking about what Clinical Psychology is, but why it is needed in the first place?

Why is clinical psychology needed?

As touched upon earlier, Clinical Psychology seeks to help people with their distress.

I’ve mentioned it again to emphasize the point because stress is apart of everyday life, and stress can have negative impacts on our daily functioning, and we can need support.

Furthermore, in recent years difficulties with mental health have become a growing public health concern with it being estimated that 1 in 6 people in the past week experienced a common mental health problem, with mixed anxiety and depression being the most common mental condition in Britain with 7.8 % of people meeting the criteria for a diagnosis.

In England, 4-10% of will experience depression in their lifetime.


Further support for why Clinical Psychology is needed is from Mind; a mental health charity that aims to refocus perception of mental health; and they found that around 1 in 4 people will experience mental health problems this year. Yet the shame and salience can be as bad as the mental health problem itself. Your attitudes to mental health could impact someone’s life.

Note: this is why I rarely use the term mental disorder as I and other people including professionals find the term disorder to be detrimental to the recovery of a person amongst other reasons.

Therefore, I use the term condition instead.


Impact of mental health difficulties:

There are many various impacts that mental health conditions can have on a person, a family and society.

Nonetheless, as a brief introduction to the impacts of mental health is that these difficulties can be awful for the family and friends of the person with the condition. As they don’t know how to help the sufferer amongst other reasons.

Finally, the poorer, more disadvantaged people in society are disproportionately affected by common mental health problems in their lives.


Overall, I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s episode of The Psychology World Podcast.

If you want to learn more then please check out Clinical Psychology and please check out my Email Sign Up to get your FREE 8 Psychology Book Boxset.

Have a great day everyone!

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