Are Clinical Psychologists Simply Expensive Therapists?

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Are Clinical Psychologists simply expensive therapists? Discuss. Clinical Psychology is a combination of science, knowledge and theories which together formulate a scientific approach which enables a clinical psychologist to ask questions about the human experience and life and how these experiences affect people in order to treat them (Plante, 2010). The services of clinical psychologists and therapists are required when individuals are suffering with anxiety, depression, trauma, relationship and marital issues and deeper mental health issues which alter and have a negative effect on psychological well-being (Hunsley & Lee, 2010). Mental health statistics show that one in four people will experience a mental health problem at some course in a year with anxiety and depression being the most common in the UK so it is therefore no wonder that waiting lists for therapists and clinical psychologists are very long (Foundation, 2011). There are many debates as to whether clinical psychologists are simply expensive therapists because it has been argued that therapists and clinical psychologists offer very similar treatments, both of which are successful but with the only different being the price. This essay will investigate and aim to answer the question as to whether clinical psychologists are simply expensive therapists. This essay will look at what clinical psychologists do and who they work with and also what therapists do. It will focus on key differences between the two and the reasons why clinical psychology is more expensive and whether this cost is justified.

What do Clinical Psychologists do?
Clinical psychologists as with many psychologists aim to reduce, prevent and alleviate psychological distress and dysfunction in order to promote psychological well-being and to improve people’s lives. Clinical psychologists can work with a number of people across the lifespan including those suffering from anxiety problems, depression learning disabilities and also deeper routed mental illnesses. They can work with very young children suffering with emotional or physical trauma or the elderly coming to terms with a terminal illness. They diagnose these illnesses or disorders that people are suffering with and decide on the best course of treatment. They then work alongside a medical team of Doctors so that the Doctors can then prescribe the treatment and medication that a clinical psychologist recommends (BPS, 2011). Due to the vast amount of knowledge that Clinical Psychologists have from years and years of training, they are able to carry out research which can be very important to science and change the way we view and treat certain illnesses or disorders (Allpsychologyschools, 2011).

What do therapists do?
Therapists also aim to reduce psychological distress and increase wellbeing. The term therapist is a very broad term for trained people to offer treatment in order to help people feel better. As with clinical psychologists they help people to make decisions and problem solve by offering support, guidance and clarification (Allpsychologyschools, 2011). There are many different types of therapists and they tend to work with adults with those suffering with marital and relationships problems and life problems in general (recomparison, 2011). Examples of different therapies available are; behavioural therapies which look at thought processes and behaviours, Psychodynamic therapies which investigate the unconscious and link current behaviour to traumas and events during childhood and humanistic therapies which look at the person in the current situation and how they can develop (Counsellingdirectory, 2011).

Similarities and differences between clinical psychologists and therapists. From the above examples of what clinical psychologists and therapists do it is clear to see that they are very similar. In fact many people believe the terms clinical...
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