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Clinical psychology

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Clinical psychology is the application of psychology to mental illness or mental health problems.

Clinical psychologists may be involved in assessment, treatment or management of mental health patients. This may include include the use of 'talk therapies' such as forms of psychotherapy such as cognitive therapy and psychoanalysis, or the use of psychological tests to assess certain aspects of mental function.

Some clinical psychologists may do further training to understand and treat brain injury and neurocognitive deficits to become clinical neuropsycholgists.

Prior to the 20th century, there was little, if any, clinical help available for sufferers of mental health problems. In the early 20th century, Sigmund Freud developed a mental health treatment known as psychoanalysis. The practice of psychoanalysis was usually restricted to psychiatrists (medical doctors who specialise in treating mental illness).

Clinical psychology developed partly as a result of a need for additional clinicians to treat mental health problems, and partly as psychological science advanced to the stage where the fruits of psychological research could be successfully applied in clinical settings.

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