The goals, activities, and contributions of contemporary clinical psychology are very appealing to many who are fascinated by human behavior and relationships. The enormous popularity of psychology as an undergraduate major; of clinical psychology as a career option; and of popular press psychology books, movies, and television shows is a testament to the inherent interest of clinical psychology. The goal of clinical psychology is noble: to use the principles of psychology and our understanding of human behavior to promote health, happiness, and quality of life.
Contemporary clinical psychology is changing and growing at a rapid pace. The advent of managed health care, the changing needs of a multicultural society, changes in training models, the shift from primarily a male to a female profession, technological and other scientific advances, complex problems in today’s culture, all have greatly impacted both the science and practice of contemporary clinical psychology. Some of these changes are very positive; some are negative. Despite the challenges confronting clinical psychology, the field remains a fascinating and exciting endeavor with tremendous potential to help individuals, groups, and society.
As more research evidence emerges concerning the interplay of biological, psychological, and social influences on behavior, contemporary clinical psychologists must incorporate new knowledge to develop better applications in their efforts to understand and help others. Biopsychosocial integration in many ways best reflects contemporary clinical psychology, expanding the range and usefulness of its efforts.
This book provides students an overview of contemporary clinical psychology from an integrative biopsychosocial perspective. The book highlights the various activities, roles, and responsibilities of the contemporary clinical psychologist as well as provides a foundation of the discipline through a detailed review of its history, scientific underpinnings, and theoretical orientations. An overview of contemporary issues in clinical psychology serves as a road map for those interested in pursuing clinical psychology as a career option.
Each chapter includes a highlight of a contemporary clinical psychologist who provides a frank reflection on the pros and cons of contemporary clinical psychology as well as their view of the future of the field.
A typical schedule is also provided so that you get a sense of what a day in the life of a contemporary clinical psychologist might be like. The psychologists were chosen to reflect the broad range of people who are clinical psychologists. Some of the psychologists are well known; others are not. Several work in colleges and universities conducting research and teaching. Several work in solo or group private practice. Some work in hospitals, government agencies, or university counseling clinics. One works in the U.S. Senate. Some combine work in several diverse settings. Some work part-time while raising a family. Psychologists from all over the United States, from diverse training programs, from both genders, a variety of ethnic groups, and with disabilities are represented. The range of activities, roles, and responsibilities of these psychologists reflects the diversity of careers open to the contemporary clinical psychologist.
This book uses an integrative biopsychoso-cial approach throughout. This approach best reflects the perspective of most contemporary clinical psychologists. Less emphasis is placed on traditional theoretical models such as behavioral, psychodynamic, and humanistic approaches since most contemporary clinical psychologists integrate these and other approaches and orientations rather than using only one. An emphasis is placed on the real world of clinical psychology to provide a window into how the science and practice of clinical psychology is actually conducted.
I have attempted to provide the reader with a realistic, practical, and current portrayal of the contemporary clinical psychology field in many different settings. Finally, this book provides a separate chapter on ethics and a separate chapter on the consultation, administration, and teaching responsibilities of clinical psychologists. One chapter deals with 10 common questions asked about psychotherapy. Finally, emphasis is placed on contemporary issues in clinical psychology such as diversity, empirically supported treatments, managed health care, and other hot topics.