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Clinical Psychology: The core purpose and philosophy of the profession

Clinical Psychology: The core purpose and philosophy of the profession

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Executive summary

Section 1: The nature of clinical psychology

Section 2: Training and governance

Section 3: Useful publications and web links



This document is designed to guide and advise clinical psychologists and others in the development and implementation of psychological practice and services in the public, voluntary and private sectors. It can be quoted from freely and used in negotiations with managers and commissioners or when explaining the nature of clinical psychology to non-psychologists.

The document is divided into three sections.

  • The first section is a broad statement of the nature of clinical psychology, its purposes and characteristics. The transferable skills and core competencies of clinical psychologists are explained, together with the different levels at which clinical psychologists work.
  • The second section provides information on professional training and governance. It explains how clinical psychologists are trained and employed and the respective roles of the British Psychological Society and the Health Professions Council.
  • The third section is a list of key publications and web links that support this document.

This new edition was edited by Richard Toogood, Chair of DCP Professional Governance Panel from 2006 to 2009, and published in September 2010. It builds upon the edition by Dr Peter Harvey first published in January 2001.

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