New book uncovers the history of clinical psychology in Britain

The first history of the profession of clinical psychology in Britain is being launched today at a London conference.

Clinical Psychology in Britain: Historical Perspectives’ is edited by John Hall, David Pilgrim and Graham Turpin, and published by the BPS History of Psychology Centre.

It is being launched at the annual conference of the Society’s Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP) today.

Written by clinical psychologists, academic psychologists and historians, the book identifies key transitions in the work and thinking of clinical psychologists. It discusses British clinical psychology in relation to wider fields of research and practice in applied psychology in healthcare.

Professor Jamie Hacker Hughes, President of the British Psychological Society, says:

“Every UK clinical psychologist should read this book in order to appreciate how the struggles, persistence, successes and triumphs of our predecessors have led to the profession that we are proud to call our own today.”

Dr John Hall, one of the book’s editors, says: 

“Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Division of Clinical Psychology of the British Psychology Society in 1966. We hope the publication of this book will set the scene for its Golden Anniversary year.

“We are still just in reach of living memories of the earliest years of the National Health Service through the recollection of those who worked directly with the leading figures of the profession in those days. The book benefits from their insights in many ways.”

Read more about the DCP annual conference

Read more about the work of our History of Psychology Centre