“50 YEARS OF PROFESSIONAL CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY IN THE UNITED KINGDOM” by
Prof. Michael Wang, Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Leicester, United Kingdom
2015 marked the 50th anniversary of the Division of Clinical Psychology of the British Psychological Society. As a former Chair of the Division, Prof. Wang will reflect on the achievements and regrets of the profession over the past half century. He will discuss British clinical psychology’s unique origins, ethos, similarities and differences as compared to applied psychology in the rest of Europe. He will describe the rise and decline of psychoanalysis in the UK, in the context of Freud making London his home in his later years at the beginning of the 20th century; the development of behaviour therapy in 1960s London; its subsequent evolution into CBT; and how these events have shaped the profession of clinical psychology. Another critical determinant of the unique character of British clinical psychology was the creation of the British National Health Service (NHS) in 1948 and the way in which this institution not only supported but spawned British clinical psychology. He will also describe the current debate as to whether the generic British Psychological Society is a helpful umbrella organisation for clinical psychologists or whether the profession now needs to part company with its ubiquitous parent.