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Historical Events in Clinical Psychology

Go to the “Timeline of Historical Events in Psychology” on pages 43–45 in the textbook. Select one of the events before 1950. Search for a credible article on this event on the Internet. Keep in mind that although Internet sources may not always be credible, database articles typically have been through an editing process as they often previously appeared in print.

Summarize the life of the contributor and his or her contribution to the field. In addition, relate what was important to you in the contribution of this individual. How do you think his or her contribution has had an impact on the field of psychology today?

You may also select from the following early events that are not listed in this timeline:

  • The beginnings of the American Psychological Association
  • The contributions of Hippocrates
  • The contributions of Aristotle
  • Influences from the middle ages
  • The influence of WWI
  • The influence of WWII

Please do your best to choose a topic that has not been discussed in previous responses. If there are more than 30 students in your class and all of the topics have been covered, you may take one of the topics earlier than 1925 and cover it from a different perspective than has already been reported upon. If you are duplicating an event already covered by another classmate, you MUST use a different outside source.

Please read the following chapters in your text:

  • Chapter 2: “Evolution of Clinical Psychology”
  • Chapter 3: “Current Controversies”

Chapter 2 sheds light on the rich history of clinical psychology. You will read about the early pioneers, many of whom devoted themselves to improving the lives of those who suffered from mental illnesses. The beginnings of assessment of both intelligence and personality will also be covered. You will learn about the challenges of developing a system of diagnosis. What to consider normal and what to include as a diagnosis is a daunting task. You will learn about the events of history and how they impacted the development of clinical psychology.

Chapter 3 deals with the issues about prescription privileges for psychologists and “Manualized Therapy” in the field of clinical psychology today. You will have a chance to look at both sides of each issue. The influence of method of payment and of technology on the practice of psychotherapy will also be covered.

Practice the concepts covered in this unit by completing the Unit 2 Key Terms Activity.

Journal Articles

Please review the Library Guide for a list of articles for this unit. These have been selected from various academic journals, all of which can be found in the Purdue Global Library. Though they are not required to complete the coursework for this unit, they will be helpful for anyone wishing to gain a deeper understanding of clinical psychology.


Pomerantz, A. M. (2014). Clinical Psychology: Science, Practice and Culture, Third Edition: DSM-5

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