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One issue all clinicians have to face at one time or another in their careers is their own origin and history and the effects these have on the clinical work being done by the individual today. This perspective of one’s own background has become a phenomenon in clinical psychology that has been taken for granted for many decades. However, there is a larger context that often is neglected but that appears to be just as important. This context involves not just the clinical psychologist’s unique individual history but the historical background of the profession. One may ask why it is important to have an understanding of the history of clinical psychology to function as an effective clinician; the answer will resemble that to the question of why it is important for the individual to know his or her own personal background. Just as individuals can be understood through the developments, growth, and maturation in their individual lives since their conception, the profession can be understood in terms of its development, growth, and maturation since its inception.
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