Clinical Psychology in School and Educational Settings: Emerging Trends

Danilo Carrozzino, Angela Costabile, Chiara Patierno, Salvatore Settineri, Mario Fulcheri


Background: First clinical services in psychology have been established for educational purposes when Witmer founded its Psychological Clinic. Over the years, the educational dimension played a significant role in the development of new evaluation methods and intervention strategies for the pursuit of positive mental health. The present review aims to capture developments that have been considered emerging applications of clinical psychology in school and educational settings. Methods: We conducted a search of the literature on Scopus, PubMed and Web of Science. The following search terms were used and combined: “clinical”, “psychology”, “educational”, and “school”. Results: A total of 18 research articles were included and analyzed in the current review. A number of studies showed that school-based positive psychology interventions were effective not only in reducing symptoms of psychological distress (somatization, depression, and anxiety) but also in increasing levels of positive mental health (a sense of individual growth, self-esteem, self-efficacy and optimism). As to studies on evaluation methods, the WHO-5 and the psychological well-being subscale from the Kellner Symptom Questionnaire were found to be clinically valid self-rating scales for the assessment of positive mental health in children and adolescents. Conclusion: Studies demonstrated that promoting positive mental health is more beneficial in the long term than simply treating symptoms of psychological distress. In clinical psychology, time has come to move from a traditional psychopathology-based perspective to a positive clinical approach to be used for innovative interventions and assessment strategies in school and educational settings.


Brief Review; Clinical Psychology; Positive Psychology; Educational; School.

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