Psychological Clinic, the Beginning

Following in the Footsteps of
Dr. Witmer’s First Psychological Clinic

The historical predecessor of the Center for International Psychological Services is the Psychological Clinic established in 1896 by a clinical psychologist named, Dr. Lightner Witmer.   

 

The early pioneers of psychology accumulated scientific knowledge of the human minds and mental abilities at several universities. The research findings were very useful in understanding the norms of human capacities which consequently led to developing and implementing a valuable educational and clinical treatment plan.

 

The field of clinical psychology was created about 120 years ago with the enthusiasm for assisting children and adults who suffer from developmental and psychological difficulties. The first Psychological Clinic was born with Dr. Witmer’s innovative approach of clinical application of psychological research findings at the University of Pennsylvania in 1896. 

 

 

Dr. Witmer who studied with an eminent German experimental psychologist, Wilhelm Wundt, was concerned about the welfare of children who had extreme academic struggles in school. He started evaluating their intellectual and psychological difficulties and treated them with a systematic approach. It quickly became popular among other people, and similar psychological clinics opened across the United States.  

 

At the 1896 meeting of the American Psychological Association, Dr. Witmer emphasized the importance of helping people through psychological services. He stated, “the progress of psychology, as of every other science, would be determined by the value and amount of its contributions to the advancement of the human race.” The Psychological Clinic was established based on an honorable mission for treating all classes of people who suffer from psychological difficulties without prejudice. His suggested principles have been applied to the training of clinical psychologists in North America and his pioneering works and vision are alive at the Center for International Psychological Services.