In recent years there has been a tremendous growth in psychology as a field of study and in the number of students of clinical psychology in particular. The latter is partly due to the proliferation of professional schools of psychology that are devoted to practitioner-oriented degrees, rather than the traditional research-oriented course of study. Whatever school students emerge from, however, they are obliged to demonstrate proficiency in providing clinical services. This multi-volume handbook, is devoted to describing the core competency areas in providing psychological services which is relevant to practitioners as well as clinical researchers. As such, it covers assessment and conceptualization of cases, the application of evidence-based methods, supervision, consultation, cross-cultural factors, and ethics. The Handbook comprises three volumes with contributions by experts in each area. The goal is to provide detailed descriptions of competence levels and describe the developmental trajectory required to reach the highest of these levels. Each chapter in Volume I will follow a similar format including an overview, basic competencies, and expert competencies. This will facilitate easy comparison across chapters. All will be illustrated with case examples. Subsequent volumes will have a similarly structured format that will include maintenance factors, mechanisms of change, evidence-based treatment approaches, and a focus on the transition from basic skills to expert functioning. It is expected that the systematic presentation of skills will provide a gold standard against which to measure individual performance and in this regard will be valuable to students, instructors, and credentialing bodies.
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