Psychological Therapies, Psychological Therapists, Psychological Models of Mental Disorder and the Role of Applied Psychologists


Guidelines from NICE (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) and academic papers have repeatedly stressed the effectiveness and appropriateness of psychological therapies for a range of mental health problems. The Department of Health’s and the Care Services Improvement Partnership’s (CSIP) Programme Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) sets out a framework for action, including two national demonstration sites, to address these issues in England. Clearly, as experts in conducting and delivering psychological interventions, clinical and applied psychologists have a key role here. Psychologists are the key profession delivering such therapies, but the IAPT programme envisages an expansion of psychological therapists more generally. This means commissioners contracting with NHS Trusts (and potentially other bodies) to employ a range of professionals, including new graduates, to be trained in specific therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Therefore, psychologists are also important as managers, supervisors and trainers of such psychological therapists. Psychologists’ training enables them to formulate individualised complex care plans where the application of manualised and deliverable packages of therapy can be integrated into more holistic care plans. This paper discusses the distinctive roles of psychologists and psychological perspectives in the light of these proposals. The paper is written from the perspective of one professional group – clinical psychology – and should be read in that context.

How to Cite

Kinderman, P. & Tai, S., (2007) “Psychological Therapies, Psychological Therapists, Psychological Models of Mental Disorder and the Role of Applied Psychologists”, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Research and Practice 4(2). doi:


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Peter Kinderman
Sarah Tai






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