Article

A History of Clinical Psychology

Donald K. Routh

in The Oxford Handbook of Clinical Psychology

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780195366884
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195366884.013.0002

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 A History of Clinical Psychology

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To be memorable, a history such as this might best be organized under a small number of headings. Accordingly, this chapter is structured around the work of seven pioneers who arguably had the greatest influence on the development of the field. Lightner Witmer is generally considered to have founded clinical psychology in 1896 (McReynolds, 1987, 1997; Routh, 1996; Watson, 1956). Hippocrates was the ancient Greek founder of medicine, always a close professional cousin of clinical psychology and a scientific model for psychology in general. Theodule Ribot led the development of psychology as an academic discipline in 19th-century France, as one primarily focused on clinical issues. Alfred Binet, also in France, devised the first practical “intelligence” test in 1905; administering such tests was among the most common activities of early clinical psychologists. Leta Hollingworth was an early practitioner who played a large role in the development of organized clinical psychology beginning in 1917 (Routh, 1994). Sigmund Freud founded psychoanalysis, the first influential form of psychotherapy practiced by clinical psychologists, among others. Finally, Hans Eysenck was among the earliest to conceptualize behavior therapy and to promote the use of what have come to be known as evidence-based methods of intervention in clinical psychology.

Keywords: Binet; Eysenck; Freud; Hippocrates; Hollingworth; Ribot; Witmer

Article.  8372 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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