The Great Ideas of Clinical Science : 17 Principles that Every Mental Health Professional Should Understand book cover
1st Edition

The Great Ideas of Clinical Science
17 Principles that Every Mental Health Professional Should Understand

ISBN 9781138872813
Published April 23, 2015 by Routledge
448 Pages

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Book Description

The idea that there is a fundamental rift between researchers and practitioners should not come as a surprise to anyone familiar with the current literature, trends, and general feelings in the field of clinical psychology. Central to this scientist-practitioner gap is an underlying disagreement over the nature of knowledge - namely that while some individuals point to research studies as the foundation of truth, others argue that clinical experience offers a more adequate understanding of the causes, assessment, and treatment of mental illness.

The Great Ideas of Clinical Science is an ambitious attempt to dig beneath these fundamental differences, and reintroduce the reader to unifying principles often overlooked by students and professionals alike. The editors have identified 17 such universals, and have pulled together a group of the most prolific minds in the field to present the philosophical, methodological, and conceptual ideas that define the state of the field. Each chapter focuses on practical as well as conceptual points, offering valuable insight to practicing clinicians, researchers, and teachers of any level of experience. Written for student, practitioner, researcher, and educated layperson, this integrative volume aims to facilitate communication among all mental health professionals and to narrow the scientist-practitioner gap.

Table of Contents

Foreword. About the Editors. Contributors. Introduction. How to Think Clearly About Clinical Science. O’Donohue, Lilienfeld, Fowler, Science is an Essential Safeguard Against Human Error. Ruscio, The Clinician as Subject. Faust, Decision Research Can Increase the Accuracy of Clinical Judgment and Thereby Improve Patient Care.  Wood, Garb, Nezworski, Psychometrics. Blashfield, Burgess, Classification Provides an Essential Basis for Organizing Mental Disorders. Paul, Psychotherapy Outcome Can Be Studied Scientifically. Lazarus, Davison, Clinical Case Studies are Important in the Science and Practice of Psychotherapy. Cummings, Treatment and Assessment Take Place in an Economic Context, Always. The Great Paradigms of Clinical Science. Timberlake, Evolution-Based Learning Mechanisms Can Contribute to Adaptive and Problematic Behavior. Waldman, Behavior Genetic Approaches are Integral for Understanding the Etiology of Psychopathology. Siegert, Ward, Evolutionary Theory Provides a Framework for Understanding Abnormal Behavior. Harkness, Personality Traits are Essential for a Complete Clinical Science. Ilardi, Rand, Karwoski, The Cognitive Neuroscience Perspective Allows Us to Understand Abnormal Behavior at Multiple Levels of Complexity. The Great Cross-cutting Perspective of Clinical Science. Tully, Goodman, Early Developmental Processes Inform the Study of Mental Disorders. Schneiderman, Siegel, Mental and Physical Health Influence Each Other. Lynn, Hallquist, Williams, Matthews, Lilienfeld, Some Forms of Psychopathology are Partly Socially Constructed. Chentsova-Dutton, Tsai, Cultural Factors Influence the Expression of Psychopathology. Lilienfeld, O'Donohue, The Great Ideas of Clinical Science Redux: Revisiting Our Intellectual Roots. Index

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Scott O. Lilienfeld, Ph.D., is associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Emory University and a past president of the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology. He is founder and editor-in-chief of The Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice, and sits on the editorial boards of nine other publications, including Clinical Psychology Review, Psychological Assessment, and Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.

William T. O'Donohue, Ph.D., is a full professor in the Department of Psychology and honorary associate professor of philosophy, at the University of Nevada at Reno. He is director of the university's Victims of Crimes Treatment Center, and also its Sexual Assault Prevention and Counseling Services.


"This volume provides the framework for answering the major questions in clinical science. The authors demonstrate that there is a solid body of knowledge in psychology and that there is a viable two-way bridge between clinical data and scientific methodologies in their diverse perspectives. The individual chapters prepared by international authorities are concise, informative, and highly readable. I highly recommend it!"

 - Aaron T. Beck, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, USA

"Lilienfeld and O'Donohue have recruited some of the best minds in psychology to identify and describe the truly big ideas that have shaped our profession. All practicing psychologists will be better psychologists if they make time to read this book."

 - Danny Wedding, Ph.D., MPH, professor of psychiatry and director,  Missouri Institute of Mental Health, USA

"This indispensable volume is a work of scholarship and intellectual scope, representing clinical science at its best. I hope it becomes the professional equivalent of the Paris Peace Treaty, uniting warring factions in a shared goal of improving practice and improving research.' - Carol Tavris, Ph.D., co-author of Psychology and of Mistakes Were Made--But Not By Me

'Without thought and inspiration, the clinical psychology profession becomes more and more narrow, technical, and mechanical - just another vocation. The 17 great ideas form the scientific foundation of clinical practice and stimulate thought. These updated views are essential reading for practitioner, scientist and student and provide the basis for integrative scholarship and the return of vibrancy to clinical psychology.' - Jon Carlson, Psy.D., Ed.D., ABPP, distinguished professor, Governors State University, USA

'These ideas are based on years of study and progress and today represent the basics: what every clinical psychology student should know before graduating and becoming an independent professional. The volume will be of interest to trainees and professionals in clinical psychology as well as in allied disciplines such as psychiatry and social work [and] may be ideally suited for beginning graduate students and advanced graduate students interested in pursing careers in clinical psychology.  I would go so far as to suggest that the field would benefit in the long term if all first-year clinical psychology students were to read Great Ideas.'

"[Great Ideas] provides a thorough well-written exploration of three areas; how to think clearly about, the great paradigms of and crosscutting perspectives of clinical science....this book is critical reading for clinical psychologists."

-Anne Crawford-Docherty, Clinical Psychology Forum, October 2008