|•||The area: clinical psychology focuses on the assessment and treatment of mental disorders.|
|•||The research: how long do the benefits of cognitive-behavioural therapy last for schizophrenia?|
Clinical psychology is concerned with mental disorders (see Box 9.1). It is the branch of psychology that assesses, diagnoses and treats people who are suffering from mental disorders. It also researches into the causes of, treatments and prevention for, such disorders. Clinical psychologists work with people
Box 9.1 Details: what are mental disorders?
Mental disorders are also known as mental illness or psychological disorders (e.g.
depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders). Mental disorders are where a
person's psychological functioning (their thinking, emotion and/or behaviour)
departs from what is considered to be normal. The Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM) (see Box 9.2) defines mental disorder as a
clinically significant problem associated with distress, a loss of functioning, a sig-
nificantly increased risk of suffering or loss of freedom. You may also come across
the term 'abnormal psychology' which is the scientific study of psychopathology.