Section One Discussion Questions
- What significant events contributed to the evolving nature of clinical psychology in recent times? Whom do you identify as major contributors to the discipline? What are those contributions?
- The increasing costs of health and mental health care have resulted to longer periods of care and greater levels of care for individuals. Additionally, the increasing use of pharmacotherapies has resulted to an increase in the population of individuals receiving mental healthcare. Major contributors include Sigmund Freud, Abraham Maslow, and Carl Jung. Sigmund Freud identified the influence of the subconscious mind on behavior, Abraham Maslow provided information on the role of safety in clinical psychology, and Carl Jung provided the information on human consciousness, which include sensation, emotion, thought and intuition.
- Why is research needed in clinical psychology? How do clinicians use research to develop effective treatment plans?
- Research is important because clinical psychology is aimed at generating knowledge based on scientifically valid evidence. This is then applied in the improvement of mental and behavioral health. Clinicians use their analytical skills and theory to be able to interpret the research.
- How would you describe the earliest beginnings of psychology? How has clinical psychology evolved over the past 25 years?
- The beginnings of psychology began with the use of experimental scientific methods in research. The introduction of pharmacotherapies has greatly contributed to the advancement of clinical psychology
Section Two Discussion Questions
- Identify at least one contributor to each of the four theoretical approaches in clinical psychology, along with his or her specific theories or views about human behavior. Which of the four approaches do you find most interesting? Explain your response.
- Sigmund Freud contributed to the psychodynamic approach. He believed that childhood development has an effect on the present psychological conditions of a person (Plante, 2010).
- Carl Rogers contributed to the humanistic approach. He believed that a person has in built mechanisms that can be used to move past psychological problems and use the mechanism to develop a strong personality (Plante, 2010).
- Aaron Beck contributed to the cognitive approach. Based on the cognitive approach, a person’s beliefs and attributes influence behavior and behavioral problems (Plante, 2010).
- The family began by the Bateson group in Palo Alto California. In the family approach, family relationships are important for a person’s psychological wellbeing
- The cognitive based approach is quite interesting as it seeks to correct the dysfunctional perspective of a person by using techniques such as Socratic questioning and systematic desensitization.
- What are your thoughts on personality testing in the workplace? Is it worthwhile or too intrusive? Do you think that personality testing in the workplace is a legitimate strategy for accurate job placement?
- Personality testing in the workplace is intrusive. Divulging information about ones’ psychological intimacies may result to one being singled out because of certain attributes. Coworkers will tend to make unfair assumptions about a person’s personality. The personality testing in the workplace is not a legitimate strategy for accurate job placement as potential employees may not be truly honest in the way they respond to the questions. People will tend to overestimate their traits and this may result in poor job performance.
- What types of testing instruments do psychologists use to make a diagnosis? Which ones do you think are most effective? Explain why.
- Types of testing instruments include clinical interviews, personality assessments, behavioral assessment, and intellectual functioning assessment. Clinical interviews are most effective as the psychologist can be able to obtain important background data of the patient.
Section Three Discussion Questions
- What is the biopsychosocial approach? How does it apply to clinical psychology?
- Biopsychosocial approach considers the biological, psychological, and social factors in the understanding of health and illness in the delivery of healthcare. It helps the clinician decide the significant aspects of the biological, psychological, and social aspects that will be relevant in promoting the patients health.
- What are the five stages of therapy? Describe each stage and its goal.
- Identification of the problem: the person needs to understand the problem factors causing the problem.
- Acceptance of the problem: this will involve learning what needs to be done to change the problem.
- Situational encouragement: learning what needs to be done to change the problem
- Verbalization: applications of the solutions fully to a person life
- Expansion of goals: once results are visible, one begins to notice the change in a person life and this is achieved after a lot of practice and can be expanded to other aspects of the patient’s life.
- What is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM)? How do clinicians use it?
- Is the standard manual used in the classification of mental disorders used by the mental health professionals and the clinicians to classify mental disorders according to symptoms and link them to the specified psychiatric conditions.
Section Four Discussion Questions
- Briefly summarize the four most common subspecializations in clinical psychology. Discuss their similarities and differences. Which one is most interesting to you? Explain your response.
- Neuropsychology: focuses on the psychology of the central nervous system
- Geropsychology: focuses on aging and its effect on the psychological functioning of a person.
- Child psychology: focuses on child and adolescent psychology.
- Health psychology: focuses in examining and treating the various psychological, mental and emotional aspects of health and diseases
- A similarity in all these sub-specializations is that the specialist needs to have doctoral level mental health training and certification is required for practicing in each field under the respective boards of certification.
- Neuropsychology is the most interesting as it deals with the study of the brain and its functions.
- What are the most common ethical violations in clinical psychology? What do you think contributes to a clinician acting unethically?
- The most common ethical violation is having sexual relations with the patient and the lack of confidentiality and respect for people’s rights and dignity. Personal feelings of the clinician may contribute significantly to the clinician acting unethically.
- What are dual relationships? Why these relationships are considered harmful?
Dual relationships occur when a professional assumes more than one role at the same time with a patient or with a person close to the patient. Dual relationships may reduce the effectiveness of the professional in executing his or her required duties.
Section Five Discussion Questions
- In the Electronic Reserve Reading, “The Future of Psychology Practice and Science,” the author calls for the creation of a department of behavioral health within the federal government. Why does the author think this is necessary? Do you agree or disagree with him? If you do not agree, what would you do? What suggestions would you make? Explain your response.
- It is necessary to have a department of behavioral health in the federal government. This is because human behavior affects most of the aspects of human attributes and different outcomes. Having such a department might help in promoting research in the field of behavioral health and oversee the development of new treatment approaches to problems associated with behaviors problems.
- How is clinical psychology more than a mental health discipline?
- Clinical psychology is useful for a variety of healthcare behaviors some of which are not generally associated with mental illness (Plante, 2010).
- How do health care reform and managed care affect clinical psychology?
- Healthcare reforms and managed care have resulted to an increase in healthcare costs. This has reduced people’s access to clinical psychologists’ services.
- Plante, T. G. (2010). Contemporary Clinical Psychology. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.