The Clinical Psychology is a sub-discipline of applied psychology and deals with the developmental, emotional, cognitive, behavioral and social foundations of mental disorders and the effects these have on behavior. Clinical psychology also includes neuropsychology and medical psychology.
If internal or external disturbances affect people, systems or groups, clinical psychology uses scientific methods to investigate the effects on behavior and experience.
If internal or external disturbances affect people, systems or groups, clinical psychology uses scientific methods to investigate the effects on behavior and experience. The relationships are described in the form of predictions and diagnoses, with research, evaluation and practical procedures forming a unit. The training and further professional activity follow the so-called scientist-practitioner model.
Clinical psychology is very broadly defined and deals not only with mental disorders but also with a wide variety of systems and methods for diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and prevention. However, the discipline primarily conducts basic research and searches for the cause of disturbed functional areas as part of research.
From the results it is possible to develop methods that bring about a change. For example, psychological conversations, behavioral analyzes and psychodiagnostics are used as part of clinical-psychological treatment. The duration or the type of treatment depends on the individual situation and the intensity of the symptoms.
The field of activity of a clinical psychologist includes clinical-psychological diagnostics with regard to behavioral disorders, performance and psychological changes as well as psychological treatment methods that are based on knowledge of personality and developmental psychology, learning theory and social psychology. The psychological treatment should always be included in a previous definition of the problem or in a subsequent evaluation. The course of a treatment looks like this:
The intervention includes working with those affected, but also changing institutional and social conditions. Since mental disorders are usually very complex, a large number of different types of intervention are often required. Combined standardized treatment programs such as behavioral therapy programs for conflict, stress and anxiety management, the integrated psychological therapy program for schizophrenic patients or neuropsychological training programs that are used, for example, for brain disorders, have proven themselves here. The interventions can be assigned to different areas. These include:
The clinical-psychological treatment is based on six characteristic features:
The offer is aimed at individuals, families or couples who suffer from psychiatric illnesses, mental impairments or chronic or acute stress reactions. This includes:
As part of the diagnosis, the presence or degree of expression of various psychological characteristics should be examined. The following test procedures are available for this:
In addition, a number of computer-aided diagnostic procedures are used, including the Hogrefe test system or the Wiener test system. If stressful situations have to be coped with, one speaks of crisis intervention. Since crises run in phases, special interventions are used in the individual phases, so that those affected can reorient themselves.
As part of a clinical-psychological counseling, the therapist imparts specialist knowledge for certain disorders or ways in which these can be changed. In contrast to clinical-psychological treatment, counseling is a solution-oriented and short-term intervention. Decision-making aids and information are made available to the clients and the issue is worked out. This can initiate a change in behavior, but the affected person is not accompanied over a longer period of time.