A quarter century of psychological practice in mental health and health care: 1990-2016

Randy Phelps, James H. Bray, Lisa K. Kearney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Powerful forces have shaped professional psychology over the past 25 years, including significant changes in health policy and health care delivery systems. Examples include managed care cost containment, rapid growth of nondoctoral mental health providers, federal mental health parity legislation, and passage of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, with its emphasis on primary care- behavioral health integration and alternatives to fee-for-service reimbursement. This article considers these factors for psychology as a mental health profession and as a health profession more broadly defined, and describes the American Psychological Association's advocacy about the value of psychology in each domain. While challenging to psychology's traditional models of care, these changes offer significant promise for the future of psychology in health care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)822-836
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Psychologist
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Advocacy
  • Affordable Care Act
  • Integrated care
  • Mental health
  • Professional psychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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