Clinical Psychology Essay

Clinical Psychology Essay

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Clinical psychology aims to understand, treat and prevent psychological distress and dysfunction thus to encourage good health, good adaptive thinking and a healthy lifestyle. People working in this field research into mental dysfunction suffered by the patients, assess their cognitive state of mind and perform psychotherapy to decrease the psychological symptoms and/ or the underlying causes.

There are many sub divisions of therapies focusing on different routes of cure/prevention. Biologically, chemotherapy and psychosurgeries are available; but below I will discuss the treatments available psychologically. Psychologically, there are various treatments mainly the psychodynamic and the behavioural approach. The main psychodynamic therapy is psychoanalysis and brief psychodynamic therapy and the main behavioural approaches are the behaviour therapy and behavioural modification.

These psychotherapies involve the analyst fully participating to talk and understand the patient’s neurotic symptoms, and therefore decreasing it. The therapist essentially focuses on “Listening and taking part with the client in exploring and experiencing what is going on between them” (Oatley 1984). Some involve group or family therapies; alternatively the main popular type is the individual one to one therapies, such as the psychoanalytic and the behavioural approaches.

Psychoanalysis was approached by Sigmund Freud, with the aim “for reaching and radical reconstructing of the personality” (Fonagy 1995), by providing insight of self understanding to patients, with maladaptive behaviours. Freud worked with patients who expressed different symptoms which he investigated to be based on personality differences. This leads to the distinction of thre...


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Mechelli A (2010). Psychoanalysis on the couch: Can neuroscience provide the answers? Medical Hypotheses, 75, pp. 594–599.

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