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The field of psychology insisted on pure science as its practice. Lightner Witmer, who was a previous student of Wilhelm Wundt, changed that view. He was the head of the psychology department at the University of Pennsylvania and decided to work with a young boy who had a difficulty spelling. The clinic was dedicated to helping children with learning disabilities. In 1907, he founded the first journal of the new field of psychology, The Psychological Clinic, and coined the term clinical psychology, defined as “the study of individuals, by observation or experimentation, with the intention of promoting change”. Most psychiatrists and neurologists were still working with patients who had serious mental distress while the clinical psychology field was growing. Clinical psychologists continued to make process because they were improving their psychological assessment skills. During World War I, psychologists became strong assessment specialists because of the development of the two intelligence tests, Army Alpha and Army Beta, which tested verbal and nonverbal skills. Assessment became the main discipline of clinical psychology based on the success of these tests.In 1917, the American Association of Clinical Psychology was founded. This association only remained until 1919 when the American Psychological Association created a section on Clinical Psychology. The growth of clinical psychology was slow throughout the following years. The American Association of Applied Psychology was created in 1930 and it acted as the primary forum until after World War II when the APA reorganized.When World War II began, the military requested clinical psychologists again. Clinical psychologists evaluated soldiers who returned from battle and noticed signs psychological distress. They labeled it “shell shock”, which would later be the term Posttraumatic stress disorder. Around the same time, female psychologist, banned from the war, created the National Council of Women Psychologists to help people deal with the stress created by the war. They also offered advice on child rearing to young mothers.After the war, the U.S. Veterans Administration invested a large amount of money to create programs to train clinical psychologists at the doctoral level to treat the many veterans that needed treatment. Over half of all psychology PhDs were given in clinical psychology in 1950, when there were no programs in 1946. Psychotherapy was added to psychology in 1947, along with focus on research.In 1945, the American Psychological Association created the division of clinical psychology, now called Division 12. Even though psychology therapy was a largest part, the PhD educational model did not provide training necessary for practice instead of research. In 1968, a pilot program was approved at the University of Illinois. The Practitioner-Scholar Model of Clinical Psychology or Vail Model that gave a Doctor of Psychology (Psy. D) degree was recognized at the 1973 Vail Conference on Professional Training in Psychology. The first program based on this model was at Rutgers University. Today, approximately half of all clinical psychology graduate students are enrolled in Psy. D programs.Clinical psychology has grown steadily since the 1970s. Clinical psychologists are experts in psychotherapy and assessments. Careers in hospitals are the fastest growing employment opportunities for clinical psychologists.
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