Famous Clinical Psychologists And What We Can Learn From Them To Improve Our Health

Image source: TEDxUofT @ Flickr

Psychology is a greatly respected and studied applied science that draws thousands of people both in client and job roles. Understanding the human mind is such a herculean task, and so many interpretations can be extracted from it that even the attempt to do so should be looked on with respect.

A clinical psychologist is a mental health professional, someone with deep and specialized education in diagnosis and treatment of a range of mental maladies. They are part scientist and part artist, as connecting with a client is the art, and managing them is the science. No two clients that pass through a clinical psychologists doors will be the exact same.

It’s for these reasons that clinical psychologists often develop theories of how the optimal human is developed, alongside the methods and means someone can adopt to help them ward off, maintain or humbly live with a mental affliction. If you feel like you might need accurate and laser-targeted therapy, seeing a clinical psychologist is your best bet.

It’s for this reason that the field of clinical psychology has given birth to some of the most famous people of all time. This list will detail who they are, and what we can learn from them in the pursuit of improving our mental and physical health.

Sigmund Freud

Arguably one of the most famous clinical psychologists, Austrian-born Sigmund Freud developed a number of wildly advanced theories at the time. His contributions to the modern world of psychological understanding are difficult to overstate. He was one of the first people to relate modern societal symbols, dreams, and behavior as one cohesive unit, and didn’t disregard any of these elements when it came to identifying what the mind was.

Freud posed that mental discomforts and neuroses are caused by unconscious battles buried deep within us, that is repressed and seeking expression. Freud, in basic terms, was one of the first to identify that the battle for a positive mind is waged within every individual. Taking methods to help solve that, like expressing your trauma, writing to help self-identify, and speaking to a professional would be considered healthy courses of action by Freud. Freud taught us that mental health was just as important, and if not severe, as curable as physical maladies.

Carl Jung

Jung is another hugely famous clinical psychologist, and arguably one of the top names you’ll hear during any study of the discipline. Carl Jung argued for the psychological importance of archetypes and mythology in our daily lives and understood the power of stories. He felt that with sacrifice, becoming a ‘hero’ and understanding that every human, including you reading this, has the capacity for great good and great evil at the same time, a person could become ‘whole.’ Jung was ultimately interested in people not deceiving themselves and using that as a basis to help go into the wider world seeking self-improvement.


Jordan B. Peterson

Jordan B. Peterson is a Canadian clinical psychologist living today. He has lectured at Harvard, is a professor at the University of Toronto, and has a very successful YouTube page and website. He initially rose to prominence when he refused to co-operate with a piece of controversial Canadian legislation. His personal work involves encouraging young people, men especially, to sacrifice himself for a great good, and in this process find meaning in their lives. He also deeply advocates the importance of ‘telling the truth,’ and ‘sorting yourself out.’ This intrinsically righteous and motivational philosophy has gathered him a cult following. We can learn the importance of self-efficacy, honesty, community and reading widely from him.

A study of the work of these clinical psychologists will surely help you understand yourself and the place in the world.

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Prime Aque is the back-end guy of Self-Help. He is a blogger and WordPress front-end designer. Importantly, he is a husband and a father of three wonderful kids. His firstborn are twin girls. He loves writing and sharing.