The First Clinical PhD : LUSENET : History & Theory of Psychology : One Thread

A student asked me this question and I didn't have an answer: Who was the first psychologist to receive a PhD in clinical psychology? I had pointed out earlier that many early clinicians were not trained specifically in clinical psychology. If you don't have the answer, I would be grateful for any relevant references or likely nominees and graduate programs.

-- John D. Hogan (, October 03, 2004


I do not know, though I would think that the first successful doctoral student of Lightner Witmer (who coined the term "clinical psychology" and opened the first "clinic") would have a claim to the title.

-- Christopher Green (, October 03, 2004.

There are likely many names that fit. Before WWII there were those in applied psycology who were referred to as clinical psychologists but, as noted, their training varied considerably. The work of David Shakow in codifying a program of training for clinical psychologists resulted in the first APA accredited training programs in clinical psychology in 1948. Perhaps the first PhD in clinical psychology would be the first graduate from one of these programs.

-- David Baker (, October 04, 2004.

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