Author: A.S. Bellack , Michel Hersen
Series: Comprehensive Clinical Psychology
Publisher: Pergamon; 1 edition (20th August 1998)
Clinical psychology is a relatively new field. While its roots can be traced back to at least the late nineteenth
century, its evolution as a distinct academic discipline and profession dates only to the Second World War. The first 20 years of this postwar period saw steady, albeit nonspectacular, growth. Based substantially in the United States
and Europe during this period, the study of clinical psychology developed as an alternative to medical school and
psychiatry for many students interested in clinical service careers or the scientific study of human behavior.
Postgraduate training was conducted exclusively in large university psychology departments within a strict
scientist ̄practitioner model.
The total number of Ph.D. candidates admitted to graduate school programs each year was relatively small; there were fewer than 50 accredited programs in the United States during much of this period, each admitting only 5 ̄10 students. The number of new Ph.D.’s produced each year was substantially less, as many students failed to complete the rigorous scientific requirements of these elite programs. Career opportunities were similarly delimited, due in no small part to restraints on clinical practice imposed by psychiatrists and other physicians. The dominant form of psychotherapy was psychoanalysis, and psychologists were either excluded from psychoanalytic institutes or trained only as lay analysts who were proscribed from clinical practice. Few jurisdictions awarded licenses for independent practice, and psychologists generally were not reimbursed for their activities unless they worked under the direction of a physician.
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