The authors of this textbook strongly identify with the profession and the science of clinical psychology and have been ardent proponents and defenders of the idea that as a profession we are distinct. One objective of this first chapter is therefore to circumscribe this unique profession, make it come alive, and get you as excited as we are about clinical psychology even after decades of practice. The learning objectives for this chapter are:

An appreciation of diverse types of problems that clinical psychologists face, the actual work being done, and the expertise needed to do this work competently.

An understanding of the training that is involved in developing the identity and skills of a clinical psychologist.

An appreciation for the blend of science, skill, intuition, and sometimes difficult ethical challenges that shape our professional lives.