A Brief Comparison of Historical Paths for the Clinical and Counselling Streams of Psychology
The current practices of the clinical and counselling psychological streams are not entirely dissimilar as both are concerned with the application of psychotherapy, education, research, and instruction (Mayne, Norcross, & Sayette, 2000; Norcross, 2000). Clinical psychology is primarily concerned with the assessment, treatment, and study of populations who experience severe mental illness (Bechtoldt, Campbell, Norcross, Wyckoff, & Pokrywa, 2000; Norcross, 2000) clinical psychologists mostly employ behavioral and psychoanalytic theoretical orientations when treating clients (Norcross, 2000). In contrast, counselling psychologists generally aim to support people who, while not typically suffering from severe mental illness, need assistance in overcoming the emotions associated with traumas such as loss of employment, marital dissatisfaction, loss of friend or family member, addiction (Geldard & Geldard, 2012; Gladding, 2013). Primarily they employ client-centered and humanistic methods of theoretical orientation (Geldard & Geldard, 2012; Gladding, 2013; Norcross, 2000).
Many clinical psychologists choose to employ a variety of theoretical orientations depending on factors such as setting and the type of mental illness they are treating (Gabbard, 2005; Kemp, 2014). For example, a clinical psychiatrist who is treating someone suffering from severe depression will often use a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy as well as medication to treat the illness (Kemp, 2014). A common belief concerning the prescription of psychiatric medicine is that a drug’s side effects may in fact create new problems (eg. dependency) that the individual will need to overcome at a later stage (Kemp, 2014; Kleber, Lewis, McLellan, & O'Brien, 2000). In some cases this may be true, but the clinical psychiatrist is often able to use a drug’s ‘side effects’ to the patient’s advantage (Kemp, 2014; Kleber et al., 2000). For example, a patient suffering severe depression may also exhibit insomniac behaviour, so that a prescribed medication with a side effect of drowsiness might assist the patient’s insomnia while elevating his/her mood. A prescription drug can give short term relief for the symptoms of depression, thereby enabling greater responsiveness to the treatment methods often used in conjunction with it (Gabbard, 2005; Kemp, 2014; Kleber et al., 2000).
At a glance one might think that both the clinical and counselling streams of psychology contain relatively short histories due to the fact that they were officially recognized by the American Psychological Association in 1945 and 1952 respectively (Gladding, 2013; Hergenhahn, & Henley, 2013; Hothersall, D.1984; Reisman, 1976; Watson, 1953). However, there were many key historical events in both fields that facilitated their social integration (Gladding, 2013; Reisman, 1976; Watson, 1953). Many of these defining...