Wikipedia:WikiProject Psychology/Peer review/Clinical psychology

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Clinical psychology[edit]

This article might be ready for applying for Featured Article status. Please look it over and see if there are any obvious areas for improvement that might have missed our eyes. Thank you!! Psykhosis 22:04, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

  • I couldn't find any - support. thuglasT|C 22:29, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for commenting. Psykhosis 14:35, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm an Australian clinical psychologist and seasoned relationship therapist. I will add a few improvements to this article as I go through it. From my point of view it is not quite ready for FA status - read on, sorry about the length.

My first edits will be: 1. References to the history, practice and licensure in Australia for paragraph 3 and elsewhere 2. Adding evidence based practices and principles, which are a sine qua non of Clinical Psychology, differentiating it from other specialities and egregiously, not referred to in this article 3. Adding counselling with psychotherapy on paragraph 4 and elsewhere.

The dilemma I have raised at point 18 in Talk:Psychotherapy that of distinguishing between therapy, conselling, coaching and mentoring is also an issue in the practice of Clinical Psychology - since we tend to use all those modalities to get the result our clients want. The closing stages of almost any "therapy", except perhaps in a research program using an airtight treatment protocol banning non-treatment related excursions, is more like coaching and mentoring than treatment. The initial stages of assessing a client for treatment will not only include clinical psychology protocols but also an inquiry more like a philosophical enquiry. These issues of defining exactly what is Clinical Psychology are beginning to be addressed for example in the Tree of Knowledge System published in two special issues of the Journal of Clinical Psychology in December 2004 and January 2005, but not referred to in this article.

To quote from this wikipewdia article:

The problem of psychology is its conceptual incoherence, which is clearly identifiable by the following: (1) There is no agreed upon definition. (2) There is no agreed upon subject matter. (3) There is a proliferation of overlapping and redundant concepts. (4) There are a large number of paradigms with fundamentally different epistemological assumptions. (5) Specialization continues to be increasingly emphasized at the expense of generalization and thus the problem of fragmentation only grows.

In Clinical Psychology we tend to think about our practice and the evidence of its effect with the tools of sociology of medicine, sociology of knowledge and semiotics. This a vital concern as practitioners research, operate and receive refferals from within a health care system and a knowledge system which seeks to validate (and invalidate) our practices.

We also tend to think about our research and practice within the framework of social psychology particularly as it applies to interpersonal relationship, as that is the usual instrument of influence. We have to keep an eye on the common law of negligence and more. Clear distinctions have to be drawn within a treatment and between treatment modalities regarding these issues. I will strengthen the article where I come upon these issues or lack of.

The profound historical debt Psychology and Clinical Psychology owe to the East has not been acknowledged whereas that to Europe has. The intersection of European clinical practice with Islamic practice which predates it, is not without significance, for example Rhazes. Perhaps more trivially, we use the Hindu Arabic numbering system in our treatment protocols and in our research statistics: 0 to 9 rather than the Roman lettering I to X and little consider our debt to the East in this everyday small necessity.

Likewise the process of mind training taught in Zen and by Siddartha is informing mindfullness based trauma and other treatments of mental disorders today. The private lives of some of the founders of Clincial Psychology and of some of its contemporary leaders will likely show one of their sources of insipration are in the East. For example, the founder of the PTSD treatment protocol called EMDR is a seasoned Budhhist meditator. R D Laing (a psychiatrist) was transformed in his world view and practice by part of a year he spent in India (not refered to in the wikipedia article on Laing). Likewise with more than a few of the "Major Influences" on the Clinical Psychology page.

One of my pet beefs is the lack of acknowledgement of Arthur Schopenhauer in the practice of empirical based psychology and sociology - as if we remain amnesic of how Western thought changed when Freud found an interpersonal technique, which directly applied Schopenhauer's empiricism and the knowledge he (Schepenhauer) gleaned from the Vedas of the East (also not acknowledge in the page on Freud ). I think it would be disingenuous if Clinical Psychology was represented as a discipline born in the 19th/20th Century in the West, when its roots are deep in the history, philosophy and culture of East and West over the last millenia or so. As a profession competing for the last 125 years for its place in the medical sun, it may be best served claiming scientific modernity.

However, as a scientific discipline interested in such subjects as the Tree Of Knowledge System, I think Clinical Psychology has a duty to show how it reflects on its own status and power, if only because these two are of research interest in the placebo response.

A profession is better defined by the power and prestige it has in society than by the knowledge base over which it claims control. Professions attempt to stake out territory exlusively their own, thus delimiting the use of professional terms. In Australia, for example, it is illegal to use the term psychology unless one is qualified to do so, whilst the term psychotherapy and counsellor are not yet controlled by the legislature. Partly as a result psychology now enjoys government health insurance (Medicare) support equal to or better than that of the referring medical practitioner.

I understand these are issues in the sociology of professions and they rightly belong in a related article, which could then be referred to in the Clinical Psychology one. But the lack of any reference to this field in the Clinical Psychology article might make it read like another self serving promotion of a professional body. For a brief look into this subject see Sociology of professions Conference 2007.

I shall slowly work my way though Clinical Psychology, adding these concerns where they do not arise. I expect some controversy in doing so. Similarly I am working my way through the Interpersonal relationship page, where clinical and social psychology and sociology inputs are also required by peers.--Ziji 02:54, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

You clearly have put a lot of thought into all of this. Some initial thoughts:
  • Bringing in unconventional definitions of psychology or clinical psychology might only serve to confuse a reader, not inform one. Discussions about the philosophical underpinnings of psychology might be better served in either the psychology article or even its own. I agree that if that topic is created and more or less agreed upon by others, then it might be useful to bring a mention into this article.
  • I think having a section on Eastern thoughts and practices on clin-psy would be great. However, I don't think it is strictly necessary for an GA or FA article status. It could be added any time (preferably by an expert in that area).
  • The article already has a section making distinctions between clin-psy and other related fields. I think at most the article could use one paragraph mentioning other unaddressed professions, but I don't think that is necessary (and I just added a link to Mental health professional).
  • As I say to everyone, new and even contradictory information is welcome as long as it is from a good source and cited. Also, if you add material (e.g. about Australia), all I ask is that you try to be concise...the article is already getting long.
Thanks for your comments! Psykhosis 14:35, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments also. Have completed edit and additions to Introduction. I hope, brief and concise.--Ziji 20:24, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

I am a psychology student going into an unrelated area of the field of psychology, but my basic acquaintance with the field revealed a few issues:

The criticisms section does not treat opposing ideas (even those within the psychology community) very fully. A short paragraph on each of the existing bullet points would improve the article immensely. Also, the very valid issues about clinical psychology being reductionistic can be cited through the works of Gantt, Slife, and others. I would dig up these articles myself and cite them if I weren't working on other Wikipedia projects.
As mentioned above, an Eastern perspective is desperately needed for this article to reach FA or GA status.
The impact of insurance companies and their policies on reimbursing for treatment on the field needs to be included in the recent history section. The changes that it has wrought upon the field in the past two or three decades cannot be overstated.

The article could make it to GA status with few changes, but it would take major work to reach FA status.--Cassmus 05:09, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for your comments. Psykhosis 05:15, 7 March 2007 (UTC)


Hi there. :-) My take on the article:

  • Way too U.S-centric. A bold suggestion -take off the entire training section. Same for licensure section.
  • Major influences list should be at the end of the article.
  • Too much info on psychotherapy. Having a History section and a History of psychotherapy section will confuse non-experts. Merge both sections. And this is a personal request, but I believe Behaviourism deserves a bit more than a small paragraph in the History section. Also, you have to mention experimental psychology and its links with clinical psychology. So far there's no mention of (chronologically) Pavlovian influence, Watson (and Ranier), Mary Cover Jones, failure of Yale Group (Hull), South Africa group (just one mention of Wolpe), England group (only Eysenck mentioned), U.S group (only Skinner mentioned), ties with behaviourist therapy.... Come on, it's the history of clinical psychology we're talking about. It's severely lacking in this respect.
  • Structure the sections. Psychotherapy (which is way too long and has a link to its main article) should appear before psychiatry, counselling and school psychology. The three big perspectives should be mentioned before in the article, perhaps after history. Criticisms should come before other major therapies.
  • List of journals should be included in a subarticle.
  • Good to see it is well referenced! May need a few more refs, but looks good so far.

Well, that's my take on the article. :-) Hope that helps somewhat. Thanks for the good work with it. Raystorm 16:48, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

I thought that the article looked pretty good. I made internal links to some of the journals listed. (BTW, shouldn't the journals in the list be italicized?) I thought that Ziji's concerns above seemed quite relevant. Perhaps this article could stand to have a more "global" perspective. Perhaps Ziji's concerns could also be addressed with an article like, "Philosophical roots of psychology" or something to that effect. Just some initial thoughts... EPM 13:10, 9 March 2007 (UTC)