• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

A Short Introduction to Clinical Psychology gives an accessible overview of the field for psychology students and anyone considering training as a clinical psychologist. Setting out the theoretical and practical dimensions of clinical psychology, the authors examine its origins, knowledge base and applications with different client groups, in different contexts and through different modalities (individuals, groups, couples, families and organizations). They also highlight issues affecting everyday practice - from professional relationships to government policy. Drawing on the first-hand experiences of people who have recently qualified, the book describes the process of training and the transition that takes place from trainee to practitioner. Throughout, the book captures a sense of clinical psychology as a dynamic and changing field which has grown up fast alongside other more established professions involved in mental health care and which is continuing to evolve in response to contemporary needs. As an overview of the field, A Short Introduction to Clinical Psychology is an ideal text for undergraduate and post-graduate students in psychology and as initial reading for clinical psychology courses.

The Social and Historical Context of the Profession
The social and historical context of the profession

Like all professions, clinical psychology has both features that it shares with other professions and characteristics that are peculiar to itself. In this introductory chapter we will first examine the nature of professions, drawing heavily on their sociology. This summary of sociological approaches to professional life should assist the reader to understand how clinical psychology reflects and reproduces general features of what came to be known during the twentieth century as the ‘new middle class’ (Carchedi, 1977). After this general sociological introduction we will identify one aspect of the particular character of British clinical psychology: its history. This history reflects the contested knowledge base of the profession – a subject ...

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