Clinical psychology is the psychological specialty that provides continuing and comprehensive mental and behavioral health care for individuals and families; consultation to agencies and communities; training, education and supervision; and research-based practice. It is a specialty in breadth — one that is broadly inclusive of severe psychopathology — and marked by comprehensiveness and integration of knowledge and skill from a broad array of disciplines within and outside of psychology. The scope of clinical psychology encompasses all ages, multiple diversities, and varied systems.
While the early focus in clinical psychology had been largely on science and research, graduate programs began adding additional emphasis on psychotherapy. In clinical psychology Ph.D. programs, this approach is today referred to as the scientist-practitioner or Boulder Model. Later, the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree option emerged, which placed a greater emphasis on professional practice rather than research. This practice-oriented doctorate in clinical psychology is known as the practitioner-scholar, or Vail model.
The field has continued to grow tremendously, and the demand for clinical psychologists today remains strong.