What Is Applied Psychology vs Clinical Psychology?

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Martha Robinson

Applied psychology and clinical psychology are two branches of the broader field of psychology. Both fields deal with the study of human behavior and mental processes, but they differ in their focus and approach.

Applied Psychology

Applied psychology is concerned with the application of psychological principles and theories to real-world problems. This can include areas such as education, healthcare, business, sports, and law. Applied psychologists use their knowledge of human behavior to develop interventions, strategies, and programs that help people improve their lives.

Some examples of applied psychology include:

Educational Psychology: Educational psychologists study how people learn in different settings and develop strategies to improve learning outcomes. They work with teachers, administrators, and students to design effective instructional methods and educational programs.

Health Psychology: Health psychologists study how psychological factors relate to physical health and illness. They develop interventions to help individuals cope with chronic illness or manage stress-related conditions.

Sport Psychology: Sport psychologists work with athletes to help them improve their performance through mental training techniques such as visualization, goal setting, and relaxation techniques.

Clinical Psychology

Clinical psychology is concerned with the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illness. Clinical psychologists work with individuals who are experiencing emotional or behavioral problems that interfere with their daily functioning. They use various therapeutic techniques to help clients overcome these difficulties.

Some examples of clinical psychology include:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is a type of therapy that focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to mental health problems such as depression or anxiety.

Psychodynamic Therapy: Psychodynamic therapy is a type of therapy that focuses on unconscious thoughts and early childhood experiences that may be contributing to current emotional difficulties.

Family Therapy: Family therapy is a type of therapy that involves working with families to improve communication patterns and resolve conflicts that contribute to relationship problems.

Key Differences

The main difference between applied psychology and clinical psychology is their focus. While both fields deal with human behavior and mental processes, they differ in terms of the problems they address. Applied psychology focuses on the application of psychological theories and principles to real-world problems, while clinical psychology focuses on the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental illness.

Another difference between the two fields is their training. Applied psychologists typically have a master’s degree or a Ph.D. in psychology or a related field. Clinical psychologists, on the other hand, are required to have a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and must complete an internship and residency before they can practice.

Conclusion

In summary, applied psychology and clinical psychology are two branches of the broader field of psychology that differ in their focus and approach. While applied psychologists use their knowledge of human behavior to develop interventions that help people improve their lives, clinical psychologists work with individuals who are experiencing emotional or behavioral problems that interfere with their daily functioning. Both fields play important roles in helping individuals achieve better mental health and well-being.