16 Clinical Psychology

History of Psychology

  1. Donald K. Routh PhD

Published Online: 26 SEP 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118133880.hop201018

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

How to Cite

Routh, D. K. 2012. Clinical Psychology . Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition. 1:16.

Author Information

  1. University of Miami, Department of Psychology, Coral Gables, Florida, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 26 SEP 2012


The field of clinical psychology was founded in 1896 by Lightner Witmer, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and at first was focused on the evaluation and remediation of the academic and behavior problems of school-age children. Over time, clinical psychology gradually become a close cousin of the more ancient field of medicine. Before World War II, clinical psychologists were primarily involved in the administration of tests, particularly the intelligence test developed by Binet. After World War II, clinical psychologists, aided by massive government support, responded to the need to help with the care of millions of returning veterans. They expanded their scope of practice to include psychotherapy and later behavior therapy with adults. More recently clinical psychology has come to be a mainstay of research on psychopathology, assessment, and therapy.


  • Witmer;
  • Binet;
  • psychopathology;
  • assessment;
  • psychotherapy