would you please what it meant by "non-clinical"?
I will explain "the non-clinical end of the phobic spectrum."
Some people are afraid of spiders, insects, etc. This fear, or phobia, could be very mild, it could be extreme, and incapacitating, and it could be somewhere in between. You could draw a number line and put the very mild cases at the left end, and the incapacitated people at the right end. This number line, including all the in-between people, is called a "spectrum."
The "non-clinical end of the phobic spectrum" is the left-hand endpoint of the number line we drew.
I would be an example of a person at the non-clinical end of the phobic spectrum. I had to kill a large spider sitting in the middle of the floor in my kitchen yesterday. I was nervous that I might miss, and it might run away. I selected a shoe with care. I walked around the spider nervously, selecting the best angle of approach, to prevent it from running away from me to hide under a piece of furniture. I thought carefully about how close I should be when striking. When the operation was complete, I shouted, "Karate Chop!" and felt extremely relieved at my success. I did not have bad dreams about what happened, and the experience did not keep me awake at night. However, I would have been much happier if my husband had been at home when I found the spider, and I could have asked him to kill it for me, while I hid in the bedroom. I am an example of a person with a sub-clinical phobia. I am nervous around large spiders, but I am not incapacitated by them.
My son, on the other hand, has Tourette Syndrome, and he has a clinical phobia, meaning that he feels so much distress about his spider phobia that he has trouble functioning. If he encounters a small spider in the bathroom, he screams and has a panic attack. He cannot read a book or watch a movie that has a spider in it. Once, when I took him to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, he imagined that my face was covered with spiders, which was terrifying for him. Sometimes he jumps out of bed and runs to spit in the toilet because he vividly imagines that there are spiders in his mouth and he urgently feels a need to spit them out.
I have been seeking treatment for him for a year and a half, but we live in a small town, and the therapists we have seen have not been trained in Exposure and Response Therapy (ERP), and he is not getting better. There is a national and international shortage of therapists trained in ERP. I am currently struggling to get my health insurance to pay for Skype therapy for my son.
"Non-clinical" = "sub-clinical": One of the therapists we tried told me, after four months of weekly sessions with my son that he is somewhere between "sub-clinical" and "mildly clinical," by which she meant that she did not see a problem. Actually, she was the problem -- she was not willing to learn how to treat this type of OCD in a child.
Researchers want to understand phobias better, and sometimes they compare the sub-clinical cases, like me, to the clinical cases, like my son. "Sub-clinical" means non-pathological. It means the person gets a little nervous, but not hysterical.
I think, Nima, it would be good if you could explain your interest in this topic, so that I can write explanations for you that are truly helpful.
The article you have been struggling to understand is old, out of date, not very well written.... Is it the topic you are interested in? Or have you taken a job to translate this very article for someone who has the idea that this article will be helpful for something?