Lightner Witmer was born on June 28, 1867, in Philadelphia. His name originates from his paternal great-grandmother, Jane Lightner and although this was his middle name he was known as Lightner growing up. Having grown up in household with a strong emphasis placed on education, Witmer attended college at the University of Pennsylvania, from where he graduated in 1888. Upon graduation he taught English and History at Rugby Academy (McReynolds, 24, 1997). Witmer is noted as once helping a student with what he defined as verbal deafness. This revealed, “that as early as 1889, Witmer was developing a clinical psychological orientation” (McReynolds, pg 25, 1997). It was during this time Witmer’s eventual interest in a clinical approach began to surface.
Eventually, Witmer decided to attend graduate school where he changed his major several times and then took an assistantship under James McKeen Cattell who opened “a laboratory of experimental psychology which focused on individual differences among persons” (Thomas, pg 5, 2009). While settling into his new major of experimental psychology, he learned to conduct ...
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...logy would not be the same without his many contributions.
American Psychological Association, Division 12. (2011). Society of clinical psychology.
Retrieved from http://www.apa.org
Baker, D., (1988). The psychology of Lighter Witmer. Professional School Psychology. 3(2),
McReynolds, P., (1997). Lighter Witmer: His life and times. Washington, DC: American
McReynolds, P., (1987). Psychology in retrospect Lighter Witmer little known founder of
clinical psychology. American Psychologist. 42, No. 9, 849-858.
Thomas, H., (2009). Discovering Lightner Witmer: A forgotten hero of psychology. Journal of
U.S. Census Bureau. (2007). Health care and social assistance. Retrieved from
Witmer, L. (1907b). Clinical psychology. The Psychological Clinic, 1, 1-9.
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