What Are the Aims of Clinical Psychology?


Martha Robinson

Clinical psychology is a field of psychology that deals with the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health disorders. The primary aim of clinical psychology is to provide psychological interventions to improve the well-being and quality of life of individuals suffering from mental health issues.


One of the primary aims of clinical psychology is to assess individuals who are experiencing psychological distress. Clinical psychologists use a variety of tools and techniques to assess an individual’s mental health status, including interviews, standardized assessments, observation, and psychological testing.

During the assessment process, the clinical psychologist gathers information about an individual’s symptoms, behavior patterns, and life history. This information helps them make a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan tailored to the individual’s needs.


Another aim of clinical psychology is to diagnose mental health disorders accurately. A diagnosis allows clinicians to identify specific problems that need attention and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

Clinical psychologists use diagnostic criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to identify mental health disorders. The DSM provides guidelines for diagnosing various mental health conditions based on symptoms, duration, severity, and other factors.


The ultimate aim of clinical psychology is to provide effective psychological interventions that can help individuals overcome their mental health issues. Clinical psychologists use evidence-based treatments such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy, or humanistic therapy.

CBT focuses on identifying negative thought patterns that contribute to psychological distress and replacing them with more positive ones. Psychodynamic therapy aims at exploring unconscious thoughts and emotions that may be contributing to an individual’s problems. Humanistic therapy emphasizes personal growth and self-actualization by promoting self-awareness and self-acceptance.


In conclusion, clinical psychology aims at providing comprehensive care for individuals suffering from mental health issues through assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. Clinical psychologists work to understand the underlying causes of psychological distress and provide interventions that promote healing and growth. By using a combination of techniques and therapies, clinical psychology can help individuals achieve better mental health outcomes.