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PSYCH205: Clinical Psychology

Unit 4: Related Subspecialties of Clinical Psychology   The previous units addressed the general goals of clinical psychology: to understand, prevent, and alleviate psychological distress and promote psychological well-being. As this is a rather broad set of goals, and there are a multitude of factors that contribute to the etiology, prevention, and alleviation of distress, several subfields of clinical psychology have emerged. These fields have made significant contributions to our understanding of the complexities and nuances of mental health and illness. In this unit, you will learn about the various subdisciplines within the field of clinical psychology. Although these sub-fields may be closely related to other disciplines, they fit nicely into the study of human behavior as it relates to mental health and illness, and they represent the cutting edgeof clinical science. You will also take a look at child psychology, which is closely related to the field of clinical psychology.

Unit 4 Time Advisory
Completing this unit should take you approximately 4.5 hours.

☐    Subunit 4.1: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 4.2–4.3: 0.75 hours

☐    Subunit 4.4–4.5: 0.75 hours

Unit4 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
- identify the subspecialty areas within clinical psychology (e.g. community psychology, health psychology, and neuropsychology); and
  - define the main tasks of the clinical psychologist, and explain how the contributions of this subspecialty fit into or relate to the broader field of psychology.

4.1 Related Fields/Subspecialties of Clinical Psychology   4.1.1 Community Psychology   - Reading: AllPsychologyCareers’ “Community Psychologists” Link: AllPsychologyCareers“Community Psychologists”” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read this article.
 
Reading this text and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes. 
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.1.2 Health Psychology   - Reading: American Psychological Association Division 38’s “Health Psychology” Link: American Psychological Association Division 38’s “Health Psychology” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please click on the link above and read this brief
description of health psychology.  

 Reading this page should take approximately 15 minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of
use displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Institute of Medicine of the National Academies “Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research Chronic” Link: Institute of Medicine of the National Academies “Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research Chronic” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above titled “Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research Chronic” select the “PDF” link after “Report Brief” at the end of the introductory text on this webpage, and read this article (4 pages). This article provides an example of the mission/work of health psychologists. 
     
    Reading this article should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.1.3 Neuropsychology   - Reading: AllPsychologyCareers’ "Neuropsychologists" Link: AllPsychologyCareers"Neuropsychologists" (HTML)

 Instructions: Read this article. This article provides information
regarding neuropsychologists.  

 Reading this text and taking notes should take approximately 30
minutes to complete.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of
use displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: AllPsychologyCareers’ "Neuropsychology Assessments and Tests" Link: AllPsychologyCareers"Neuropsychology Assessments and Tests" (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read this article. This article discusses common assessments and tests used by neuropsychologists.

    Reading this text and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.1.4 Forensic Psychology   - Reading: AllPsychologyCareers’ “Forensic Psychologists” and "Forensic Psychology" Link: AllPsychologyCareers“Forensic Psychologists”(HTML) and "Forensic Psychology" (HMTL)
 
Instructions: Read these articles. 
 
Reading this text and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.1.5 Pediatric and Child Psychology Overview   - Reading: AllPsychologyCareers’ “Pediatric and Child Psychology” Link: AllPsychologyCareers“Pediatric and Child Psychology”(HTML)
 
Instructions:Read this article. 
 
Reading this text and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.2 Children and Mental Health: Normal Development   - Reading: United States Department of Health and Human Services’ MentalHealth: A Report of the Surgeon General (1999): “Chapter 3: Children and Mental Health” Link: United States Department of Health and Human Services’ MentalHealth: A Report of the Surgeon General** (1999): “Chapter 3: Children and Mental Health” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read from the section titled “Normal Development” through the section titled “Overview of Mental Disorders in Children.” Please note that the pages in the PDF bar at the top of the document do not match the pages in the table of contents section on the first page.

 This reading covers all topics listed under Subunits 4.2–4.3, which
address issues regarding children and mental health.  
    
 Reading this text and taking notes should take approximately 45
minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

4.2.1 Theories of Development   *Development is a lifelong process composed of a series of stages (i.e., functioning as an individual and with others/maturation). Various theories of development, such as intellectual (i.e., Piaget’s stage constructed theory) and behavioral (i.e., observation and measurement), focus on how each affects childhood changes in self and the environment.

Refer to The United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General (1999): “Chapter 3: Children and Mental Health,” pages 123–125 for additional information.*

4.2.2 Social and Language Development   *Social and language development in children is influenced by a number of factors, including the parent-child relationship (e.g., Bowlby’s attachment), language origins (i.e., dependent upon both biological and socio-environmental factors), and relationships with other children (e.g., effects of peer relationships and development).

Refer to The United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General (1999): “Chapter 3: Children and Mental Health,” pages 125–127 for additional information.*

4.2.3 Temperament   *Children are active participants in environmental input and the importance of their involvement is reflected in their temperament (i.e., inherent/intrinsic traits affecting relationships and interactions).

Refer to the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General (1999): “Chapter 3: Children and Mental Health,” pg. 127 for additional information.*

4.2.4 Developmental Psychopathology   *There are various concepts and assumptions that affect our understanding of children’s mental health and illness, including developmental psychopathology. Childhood psychopathology arises from complex, multi-layered interactions between numerous factors such as biological, psychological, genetic, and environmental components, and the manner or extent of those interactions over time.

Refer to the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General (1999): “Chapter 3: Children and Mental Health,” pages 127–128 for additional information.*

4.3 Children and Mental Health: Risk factors, Prevention, and Mental Disorders   4.3.1 Risk Factors   *There are numerous biological and psychosocial risk factors that increase a child’s susceptibility for mental disorder development. Biological factors include family and genetics whereas psychosocial factors include stressful life events, childhood maltreatment, and peer/sibling influences. Furthermore, the interaction between the two types of risk factors can greatly increase a child’s development of mental disorders.

Refer to The United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General (1999): “Chapter 3: Children and Mental Health,” pages 129–132 for additional information.*

4.3.2 Prevention   *Prevention of childhood mental disorder development incorporates multiple aspects such as risk reduction, prevention of onset, and early intervention. Numerous prevention programs and strategies also contribute to the deterrence of mental disorder development in children.            

Refer to The United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General (1999): “Chapter 3: Children and Mental Health,” pages 132–136 for additional information.*

4.3.3 General Categories of Mental Disorders   *The conceptual framework of categorizing mental disorders includes understanding how mental disorders unfold in not only children and adolescents but also in adults, as biological, psychological, and socio-environmental constructs change across the life span.

Refer to The United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General (1999): “Chapter 3: Children and Mental Health,” pages 136–137 for additional information.*

4.3.4 Assessment and Diagnosis   *Assessment and diagnosis of mental disorders in children have several primary objectives such as determining unique functional characteristics of the individual and diagnosing signs/symptoms suggesting the presence of a mental disorder.

Refer to the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General (1999): “Chapter 3: Children and Mental Health,” pages 137–138 for additional information.*

4.3.5 Evaluation Process   *The evaluation process of determining mental disorder affliction includes gathering information from multiple sources, conducting observations, and initiating additional testing/questioning.

Refer to the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General (1999): “Chapter 3: Children and Mental Health,” pages 138–139 for additional information.*

4.3.6 Treatment Strategies   *Treatment strategies in assisting children with mental disorders include psychotherapy and psychopharmacology. Note the advantage and disadvantages of using each strategy.

Refer to the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General (1999): “Chapter 3: Children and Mental Health,” pages 139–142 for additional information.*

4.4 Older Adults and Mental Health: Developmental Approach   - Reading: United States Department of Health and Human Services’ MentalHealth: A Report of the Surgeon General (1999): “Chapter 5: Older Adults and Mental Health” Link: United States Department of Health and Human Services’ MentalHealth: A Report of the Surgeon General** (1999): “Chapter 5: Older Adults and Mental Health” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read from the section titled “Chapter Overview” through the section titled “Overview of Mental Disorders in Older Adults.” Please note that the pages in the PDF bar at the top of the document do not match the pages in the table of contents section on the first page. 
 
This reading will cover all topics listed under Subunits 4.4–4.5, including developmental and treatment issues regarding older adults and mental health.
 
Reading this text and taking notes should take approximately 45 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.4.1 Normal Life-Cycle Tasks   *Normal life-cycle tasks for the aging population indicate that a better diet, physical fitness, and health care have improvedmental health in the aging population. Chronic disability prevalence trends indicate a decline in disability in the older population, but there is always some disability associated with normal aging processes.

Refer to the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General (1999): “Chapter 5: Older Adults and Mental Health,” pages 335–337 for additional information.*

4.4.2 Cognitive Capacity with Aging   *Cognitive capacity with aging undergoes some loss, and there is variability in not only the type of loss experienced (i.e., intelligence, language, learning, memory) but also in the causes (e.g., genetics, psychosocial factors, comorbidities). However, to mitigate the effects of diminishing cognitive capacity, individuals can make active decisions to avoid disease and disability, sustain high cognitive and physical function, and engage in life.

Refer to the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General (1999): “Chapter 5: Older Adults and Mental Health,” pages 337–338 for additional information.*

4.4.3 Change, Human Potential, and Creativity   *Research indicates there is a capacity for constructive change later in life, and this capacity to change can even occur in the face of mental illness. Older individuals who display flexibility in behavior or attitudes can significantly decrease their chance for developing a mental disorder. Though we all experience adversity and/or chronic health problems, our potential for change can ensure good health is retained through new social, psychological, educational, or recreational pathways.

Refer to The United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General (1999): “Chapter 5: Older Adults and Mental Health,” pages 338–339 for additional information.            *

4.4.4 Coping with Loss and Bereavement   *Many older adults experience multiple losses with aging (e.g., loss of social status, self-esteem, physical capacities, family/friends due to death). Coping mechanisms, whether informal (i.e., friends and family) or formal (i.e., mental health professionals), can assist older individuals in managing loss and bereavement.

Refer to the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General (1999): “Chapter 5: Older Adults and Mental Health,” pages 339–340 for additional information.*

4.5 Older Adults and Mental Health: Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment   4.5.1 Assessment and Diagnosis   *Older adults experience many of the same mental disorders as younger adults, but the prevalence, nature, and course of each illness can be very different. Adequately assessing and diagnosing mental illness in the aging population involves consideration of particular characteristics including clinical presentation, high comorbidity with other medical disorders, skewed symptom reporting, patient vs. provider barriers, and stereotypes about normal aging.

Refer to the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General (1999): “Chapter 5: Older Adults and Mental Health,” pages 340–341 for additional information.*

4.5.2 Prevention   *Prevention of mental illness in the older population is important in preserving health. Primary prevention (i.e., preventing a disease before it occurs) can be applied to late-onset disorders, whereby treatment-related prevention can impede relapse or recurrence of a disorder. Likewise, excess disability prevention focuses on reducing functional impairment, particularly in those with more severe and/or persistent mental disorders, while premature institutionalization prevention aims to delay the institutional placement of older individuals until absolutely necessary.            

Refer to the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General (1999): “Chapter 5: Older Adults and Mental Health,” pages 341–343 for additional information.*

4.5.3 Treatment   *Treatment of mental illness in the aging population includes multiple components, each with issues related to treatment selection. Issues with pharmacological interventions (e.g., side effects risk, polypharmacy, treatment compliance) vs. psychosocial interventions (e.g., symptom relief, health behavior promotion, new methods to service delivery) should be considered when treating mental disorders in older individuals.

Refer to the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General (1999): “Chapter 5: Older Adults and Mental Health,” pages 343–346 for additional information.*

The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 4 Assessment”   - Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 4 Assessment” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 4 Assessment”

 Instructions: Complete this unit assessment. For each question,
pick the best possible answer. The correct answers will be displayed
when you click the "Submit" button.  

 You must be logged into your Saylor Foundation School account in
order to access this quiz.  If you do not yet have an account, you
will be able to create one, free of charge, after clicking the
link.  

 Completing this assessment should take approximately 15 minutes.