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Clinical psychology

Clinical psychology is a subdiscipline of psychology which deals with the following:

  • explanation and understanding of mental disorders (psychopathology)
  • psychological factors that influence somatic diseases (psychosomatics)
  • psychological treatment methods – different kinds of psychotherapy.

Clinical psychology today contains a number of different schools and traditions that involve widely different theories, different kinds of research methods, and different kinds of psychological treatment.

Three important traditions today are the psychoanalytic/psychodynamic, the cognitive/behavioural, and the family therapy traditions, but even within each of these traditions there is a large variety of theories, approaches to research, and psychological treatment methods.

This multitude of theories, approaches, methods, and ways of thinking means that clinical psychology today is in a very exciting and dynamic phase of development, with increased possibilities of new creative combinations of ideas from different origins.

Photo of a man and a woman sitting next to each other on a couch.