History of Clinical Psychology

History of Clinical Psychology

During the first decades of the twentieth century, clinical psychology main focus was on personality and cognitive assessment despite Witmer’s notion that medicine and clinical psychology shared significant features. During World War I, psychologists developed intelligence tests referred to as ‘Army Beta’ and ‘Army Alpha’ (Vander Weg & Suls, 2014). Notably, during this time, mental disorders and cognitive problems were ramparts which made physicians consult with clinical psychologists (Norcross, et al., 2005). When the war ended, clinical psychologists continued conducting the tests although their work later changed during World War II.

History of Clinical Psychology

According to Vander Weg and Suls (2014), early clinical psychology lacked the aspect of physical health as which was dedicated to medicine’s domain. Before the mid-twentieth century, physicians carried out their duties by emphasizing on nurturing of feelings of the ill person and showing empathy. Moreover, they lack sufficient, clinical, and pharmacological procedures. During that period, psychology was not an advanced scientific discipline compared to physiology, chemistry, and biology. Despite the increasing role of psychology in medical education, it was had not yet been made a requirement in the medical school curriculum.

World War II demanded mental evaluation for the veterans and military personnel. When soldiers returned home from war, physicians recognized the traumatic experience was causing stress and mental disorders (Norcross, et al., 2005). Since physicians were occupied with treating injured people, psychologists were called to deal with problems associated with mental illness and stress. Additionally, after the World War II, facilities such as the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) were developed to promote mental health and come up with treatment for mental illness (Vander Weg & Suls, 2014). From the mid-1950s, clinical psychologists began conducting research on matters beyond mental health concerns. By the 1980s a need to develop graduate curricula and train clinical psychologists rose and have facilitated to the success of the field.