Fifty years of clinical psychology: Selling our soul to the devil

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Clinical psychology, Medical model, Mental health history, Prescription privileges, Prevention


An account of the post-World War II development of clinical psychology based on the personal experiences and observations of the author is presented. Acceptance of the medical—organic explanation of mental disorder and devotion to one-on-one psychotherapy paid for by health insurance has led clinical psychology to its present state of desperation, grasping at drug-prescription privileges as a way of surviving by further embracing the invalid medical would. Alternatively, only acceptance of the public health strategy of primary prevention, striving for social justice, and thorough grounding in social learning theory will guarantee survival of the field.