Forensic psychology and clinical psychology are two fields that often overlap, but they are not the same. While both fields deal with mental health and the human mind, there are substantial differences between them.

In this article, we will explore the question “Is forensic psychology clinical psychology?” in detail.

What Is Clinical Psychology?

Clinical psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on diagnosing and treating mental illnesses, emotional disorders, and behavioral problems. Clinical psychologists often work in hospitals or private practices to provide therapy and counseling to patients.

The goal of clinical psychologists is to help people improve their mental health by providing them with tools and strategies to manage their symptoms. They use various techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), psychoanalysis, and group therapy to help their patients overcome their problems.

What Is Forensic Psychology?

Forensic psychology, on the other hand, is the application of psychological principles within legal settings. Forensic psychologists work with law enforcement agencies, courts, and correctional facilities to evaluate individuals involved in legal cases.

Forensic psychologists also conduct research on topics related to criminal behavior, witness testimony, jury selection, and eyewitness identification. They use their knowledge of human behavior to assist in investigations or court proceedings.

How Are They Different?

While both fields deal with mental health issues and involve working with people who have psychological problems, there are significant differences between them.

Clinical psychologists work primarily in a therapeutic setting where they diagnose and treat mental illnesses. Their goal is to help patients overcome their symptoms so they can lead a healthy life.

Forensic psychologists mostly work within legal settings such as courts or correctional facilities. Their role is not to provide therapy but rather evaluate individuals involved in legal cases such as defendants or witnesses. They may also provide expert testimony during trials based on their evaluations.

The Overlap

Despite their differences, there is some overlap between the two fields. Clinical psychologists may be called upon to provide expert testimony in court cases related to mental health. They may also work with law enforcement agencies to provide training on topics such as crisis intervention or suicide prevention.

Forensic psychologists may use their knowledge of mental health to help evaluate individuals who have been accused of committing a crime. They may also work with individuals who have been released from prison to help them reintegrate into society.


In conclusion, forensic psychology and clinical psychology are not the same, although they do share some similarities. Clinical psychology focuses on diagnosing and treating mental illnesses, while forensic psychology applies psychological principles within legal settings.

While these fields are different, they both play an essential role in understanding human behavior and improving people’s lives. Whether you’re interested in becoming a clinical psychologist or forensic psychologist, both fields offer unique opportunities to help others and make a difference in the world.