• Joseph R. Scotti
  • Barry A. Edelstein


As discussed in Chapter 1, the beginning of formal education and training in clinical psychology probably began with Lightner Witmer. Witmer received his doctorate from the University of Leipzig in 1892 and assumed the role of director of the University of Pennsylvania Psychology Laboratory (Nietzel, Bernstein, & Milich, 1991). He coined the term clinical psychologist (Strickland, 1988) and established the first psychological clinic in 1896 at the University of Pennsylvania (Korchin, 1976), where his first case as a clinical psychologist was a “chronic bad speller” (McReynolds, 1987, p. 851). This was a monumental event, as psychologists had previously been interested principally in the general behavior and individual differences of humans, not their well-being. In 1896, Witmer described his clinic at an American Psychological Association (APA) meeting, but he received limited support because, as suggested by Reisman (1966), psychologists of that period were primarily laboratory scientists with little interest or training in the application of psychological principles to the well-being of individuals. Moreover, Witmer apparently had a “talent for antagonizing his colleagues” (Reisman, 1966, p. 46). Nevertheless, within 15 years, five additional clinics were established in the United States, four of which were associated with psychology departments.


American Psychological Association Clinical Psychologist Clinical Training Professional School Veteran Administration 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph R. Scotti
    • 1
  • Barry A. Edelstein
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA

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