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The scientist–practitioner philosophy of clinical practice is first placed in its historical context. The history of the scientist–practitioner stance is marked by an enduring struggle between advocates and opponents of a research-based profession of clinical psychology. The criticisms of the scientist–practitioner stance are discussed alongside counter-arguments in support of that position. Making the conceptual distinction between theoretical preference and philosophical position, three philosophies to underpin clinical psychology are outlined. It is concluded that the fundamental research to decide on the optimum stance for effective practice, and hence to inform training, is sadly lacking. © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
The Scientist±Practitioner Model in
Clinical Psychology: A Critique
Clive G. Long1, Clive R. Hollin2*
1St. Andrews Hospital, Northampton, UK
2University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
The scientist± practitioner philosophy of clinical practice is first placed
in its historical context. The history of the scientis practitioner stance
is marked by an enduring struggle between advocates and opponents
of a research-based profession of clinical psychology. The criticisms
of the scientist± practitioner stance are discussed alongside counter-
arguments in support of that position. Making the conceptual distinc-
tion between theoretical preference and philosophical position, three
philosophies to underpin clinical psychology are outlined. It is
concluded that the fundamental research to decide on the optimum
stance for effective practice, and hence to inform training, is sadly
lacking. #1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Clin Psychol Psychother 4, 75± 83, 1997.
No. of Figures: 0. No. of Tables: 0. No. of Refs: 78.
In the sense in which it is used here, the term
`scientist± practitioner' is used to refer to those
clinicians who personally conduct research and/or
draw on research to inform their practice. Such
clinicians possess therapeutic competence as well as
expertise in applied research, and may carry out
`clinical research' (Wilson, 1981) or `applicable
research' (Watts, 1984). The undertaking of research
is, of course, fundamental to the goal of an
empirically-based approach to the profession of
clinical psychology.
For four decades this research approach has
been the dominant model of professional practice
in clinical psychology. However, since it was first
proposed by the American Psychological Associa-
tion (APA) Committee on Training in Clinical
Psychology (1947), the Scientist± Practitioner model
of professional training has been the source of much
debate (Albee, 1970; Thelen and Ewing, 1970;
Peterson, 1976, 1985; Shakow, 1978; Barlow, 1981;
Frank, 1984; Garfield, 1986; Prokasky, 1968; Pilgrim
and Treacher, 1992). One focus of the debate is
whether clinical psychologists actually do combine
the roles of scientist and practitioner (Bornstein and
Wollersheim, 1978; Barlow, 1981) and, indeed,
whether there is any need to do so (Peterson,
1976; Shakow, 1978). The abandonment of the
scientist± practitioner model in parts of the USA
has led to the development of professional schools
of psychology that emphasize the training of
clinical psychologists for professional practice with
less emphasis on research training. In contrast a
number of British clinicians see the relatively new
extended 3-year training course for clinical psychol-
ogists as an opportunity to `realize more effectively
the scientist± practitioner philosophy by improving
the levels and breadth of research training skills and
practice' (Carr, 1990, p. 18). Before considering
the implications of the adoption of a scientist±
practitioner approach, it is helpful to place the issue
in historical context.
As discussed by Raimy (1950), in the late 1940s the
scientist± practitioner model of training in clinical
* Correspondence to: Clive R. Hollin, Center for Applied
Psychology, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK.
We would like to thank an anonymous reviewer for their
helpful and constructive comments.
CCC 1063±3995/97/020075 ±09$17.50
#1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Vol. 4 (2), 75± 83 (1997)
psychology was given strong support by the
American Psychological Association. Such public
support represented an attempt to achieve two
aims: to heal the rift between academic and applied
psychologists; and, through advocating training in
research, to help clinical psychologists establish a
position independent of psychiatry in the mental
health field.
The often cited scientist± practitioner split
continued however, to be a source of discontent,
influenced by a climate in which some clinical
procedures were judged as unproven (e.g. Eysenck,
1965; Bergin and Strupp, 1972). In reality, several
other issues fuelled the debate: a view that natural-
istic research was scientifically unacceptable (Bergin
and Strupp, 1972; the position taken by some
clinicians that scientifically rigorous group compar-
ison research designs had difficulties in dealing with
the complexities and idiosyncrasies of the individual
(Chassan, 1967); and an opinion that process
research was incapable of evaluating the clinical
effects of treatment (Barlow and Hersen, 1984).
Indeed, prominent clinicians such as Matarazzo
stated that applied research had little influence on
their clinical practice: `Even after 15 years, few of my
research findings effect my practice. Psychological
science per se doesn't guide me one bit. I still read
avidly, but this is of little direct practical help. My
clinical experience is the only thing that has helped
me in my practice to date' (Bergin and Strupp, 1972,
p. 340). As this view prevailed among clinicians
who were well acquainted with research method-
ology, it is hardly surprising that clinicians without
such training were unaffected by the promise of
scientific evaluation of behaviour change.
Cohen's (1977, 1979) analysis of data from a series
of surveys, showed that 40% of mental health
professionals thought that there was no relevant
research to inform clinical practice, and that the
remainder believed that less than 20% of research
articles had any applicability to professional set-
tings. Regardless of where research stands, on a
continuum from poorly controlled single case
studies to multicentre randomized control trials,
tensions between scientists and practitioners con-
tinued to exist. This tension led to frustrations, as
seen in Wilson's (1981) pleas to `put aside the
invincible obstinacy of the fringe psychotherapists
who eschew a scientific approach to the develop-
ment and evaluation of treatment methods and
those negativists who merely bemoan the complex-
ity of our subject matter' (p. 218).
The growth of behaviour therapy provided the
setting conditions for an increase in the quantity of
clinical research (Agras and Berkowitz, 1980). As
this growth took place, so scientific quality grew
as flexible and innovative methodologies and
measures were introduced, ranging from group to
single case experimental designs (e.g. Barlow and
Hersen, 1984; Peck, 1985). In this climate, the
scientist± practitioner model, most elaborately docu-
mented by Barlow et al. (1984), has maintained its
impetus in recent years (e.g. Watts, 1984, 1992).
A series of articles in American Psychologist has
sought to reaffirm a commitment to the scientist±
practitioner model for training clinical psychologists
(Belar and Perry, 1992; O'Sullivan and Quevillon,
Nonetheless, criticisms and reservations about
the validity of a scientist±practitioner model in
clinical psychology have been expressed. These
reservations rightly continue to inform current
debate on the appropriate model for training and
practice in clinical psychology.
Clinician and Researcher: Conflicting Roles?
Frank (1984) suggested that there were essentially
two major criticisms of the scientist ±practitioner
model: (i) there is no need for a research training to
be a clinician; (ii) the interests and talents necessary
for research work and clinical work are incompat-
ible and impossible to combine.
There is no Need for Research Training
for the Clinician
This view has been supported by a number of
writers who argue that there is no need to combine
the role of researcher and clinician (Meehl, 1971;
Peterson, 1976; Frank, 1984; Pilgrim and Treacher,
1992). The position is held that the therapeutic task
of the clinical psychologist is sufficiently compli-
cated without including the role of researcher
(Pilgrim and Treacher, 1992). Yet further, if a
research role is given to all students, it might crush
intellectual curiosity especially in those clinically-
minded trainees who are forced to conduct it
(Barrom et al., 1988).
The Roles of Scientist and Practitioner
are Incompatible
Frank (1984) advances the position that person-
ality differences between scientist/researchers and
professional/practitioners cause major problems for
#1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Vol. 4, 75±83 (1997)
76 C. G. Long and C. R. Hollin
the scientist± practitioner model. The basis of this
position is that the two groups cannot coexist
within the same profession because of invisible
but powerful repelling forces between the two
extremes. Phillips (1989), however, reminds us that
all psychologists can be seen as sharing a common
frame of reference regardless of area of application.
Although research has found differences in value
systems aligned with the research/practitioner
distinction, this separation is not as distinct or
clear-cut as often supposed.
However, judged overall, there is no evidence to
support or refute these assertions. Indeed, the con-
trary view has been expressed that a clinical
training that neglects research skills or fails to
describe accurately an empirically-based practice
framework results in an education that emphasizes
`mystery over mastery' (Gambril, 1990, p. 343).
More forcefully, Medawar (1984) argues that quasi-
scientific psychologists `are getting away with a
concept of truthfulness that belongs essentially to
imaginative literature' (p. 58). He describes this
approach as `poeticism' which `stands for the belief
that imaginative insight and mysteriously privil-
eged sensibility can tell us all the answers that are
truly worthy of being sought or being known'
(p. 60). Such a preference for mystery results in the
neglect of research data concerning the effectiveness
of different styles and types of intervention. Indeed,
invoking mystery may be a major reason for the
`imposter syndrome': the feeling expressed by
some therapists that they are not really therapists
(DeAngelis, 1987).
In addition to the two points raised by Frank
(1984), there are practical questions concerning the
degree to which research is both applicable and
Research is Inapplicable and Poorly Supported
A number of clinicians hold negative attitudes
towards research, which is portrayed as irrelevant
to practice and ranking below more pressing service
commitments (Pilgrim and Treacher, 1992). Thus,
the criticism is made that the scientist±practitioner
model is not based on the reality of the settings in
which clinicians must operate. It may be that for
these reasons research often meets organizational
constraints and resistance (Salkovskis, 1984).
As O'Donohue and Szymanski (1994) note,
nominal and global judgements about research
such as `relevant/not relevant' are inappropriate.
The relevance of research is best seen as a
continuum from directly relevant to much less so,
so that practitioners must make real-world tests of
the applicability of an individual piece of research.
Further, as Abrahamson and Pearlman (1993) point
out, a research base is a necessity for psychology's
continued development as a profession, with an
identity relative to other mental health disciplines.
The poor UK tradition of conducting applicable
research is not a reason for the abandonment of
research. The last two decades have, for example,
seen a shift towards a greater emphasis on research
that is directly relevant to clinical practice (Barlow,
1981; Omer and Dar, 1992). The distinction between
applied and applicable research is important here
when considering the scientist± practitioner model
(Belbin, 1979). The essential characteristic of `applic-
able' research is a strong orientation towards a
practical problem with the goal of making convin-
cing recommendations for its solution. Applied
research, in contrast, is oriented more towards the
core area of psychology that is being applied or the
methodology employed, than to the solution of a
problem. As Watts (1984) notes, the tradition of
applicable research is weak and the research
undertaken by UK psychologists is applied but
often not applicable. However, the twinning of
research and practical objectives is central to what is
sometimes called action research. There are many
examples of research that have directly improved
clinical services. Paul and Lentz (1977) demon-
strated the advantages, in terms of efficacy and cost
effectiveness, of social learning methods in the
treatment of chronic institutionalized mental
hospital patients. In Britain, Lavender's (1985) work
on long-term psychiatric wards provided reliable
measures of the extent to which a ward met quality
standards of patient care and management, and led
to improvement of standards in the hospital.
Yet further, research can actually act as an agent
of change. The effect of research needs to be
measured not only in terms of its potential
advantage in answering important therapy
questions, but also in terms of its indirect effect
on clinical practice and the treatment milieu. James
et al. (1990) found that staff discussion of research
findings using the Ward Atmosphere Scale contrib-
uted to several changes in unit procedures and to
reduction in the real± ideal discrepancies for the
systems maintenance elements of the programme.
There is evidence that research and treatment may
enhance each other (Sacks et al., 1975; Braff et al.,
1979), and that research can even be therapy
(Rashkis, 1960; Leigh, 1975). Carroll et al.'s (1980)
research supports the notion that `patients have a
tendency to improve in a setting where structure
#1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Vol. 4, 75±83 (1997)
Scientist± Practitioner 77
has been imposed by a research design' (p. 379).
Specifically, it was found that the introduction of
the research protocol led to a more accurate
diagnosis, and more individualized and rigorously
monitored treatment regimes: alongside which the
methodology necessitated increased staff involve-
ment so that the research programme served as an
impetus to improve treatment. While acknow-
ledging the potential for a Hawthorn effect, Carroll
et al. were able to detect a cause ±effect relationship
that flowed directly from the implementation of
A similar conclusion can be drawn from a study
by Ben-Arie et al. (1990) who found that their
research cohort had fewer readmissions to a
psychiatric hospital despite the presence of factors
(e.g. significantly greater number and frequency of
previous admissions in the research groups) that
would be expected to be associated with a contrary
In the field of working with offenders the impact
of the meta-analytic studies (e.g. Lo
Èsel and Ko
1989; Andrews et al., 1990; Lipsey, 1992; Lo
Èsel, 1995)
has been dramatic. From a position of `nothing
works' the issue has quickly become one of `what
works', leading to a revival of a once moribund area
of clinical endeavour (Palmer, 1992; Hollin, 1993;
McGuire, 1995). Indeed, one of the findings of note
from the meta-analyses is that programmes with
high treatment integrity have the greatest impact on
recidivism (Hollin, 1995). One of the key correlates
of high integrity is an active research programme
evaluating the intervention, providing a perfect
example of the positive interplay between research
and effective practice.
Clinical Psychologists Rarely Produce
or Utilize Research
Although many clinicians pay lip service to the
importance of the scientist± practitioner model,
adherence to the model may be an ideal rather
than a reality (Prochaska and Norcross, 1983).
Studies show that clinicians have a low involve-
ment in research after graduating (Garfield and
Kurtz, 1976) with low productivity (Kelly et al.,
1978), and a modal frequency of research publica-
tions of zero (Barrom et al., 1988). Further,
psychologists consume and use research to only a
limited extent (Cohen, 1977, 1979). If this is true,
why train practitioners in research skills?
However, at least three studies have questioned
the validity of these findings in recent years, and
have supported the viability of the scientist±
practitioner model (Bornstein and Wollesheim,
1978; Barrom et al., 1988; Milne et al., 1990).
Bornstein and Wollersheim (1978), who surveyed
the scientist± practitioner activities of the APA's
Division of Clinical Psychology, found that
although both university and non-university beha-
viourists were more active than non-behaviourists
with regard to publications and formal papers, the
latter were more active producers of research than
was generally assumed.
Both Barrom et al. (1988) in the USA, and Milne
et al. (1990) in Britain, have noted that apparent
problems in research production, consumption and
utilization spring from too narrow a definition of
research. They argue that research needs to be
construed along a continuum from poorly con-
trolled single case studies, to multicentred random-
ized controlled trials. Barrom et al.'s (1988) random
sample survey of the scholarly activities of PhD and
PsyD trained psychologists found, like other
studies, that practising clinicians produced few
publications but that they were active in research in
other ways, and were consumers of research. In
particular the majority of clinicians either were
currently or had recently been involved in some
form of scholarly production, were active consu-
mers of scholarship, had a positive attitude towards
scholarship, and thought that research should
continue to be an important part of clinical
training. Analysis also suggested that setting
characteristicsÐsuch as the number of paid work
hours that could be devoted to research, and the
percentage of colleagues doing researchÐ
determined whether clinical psychologists actually
involved themselves in scholarly activity. They
concluded that given the low level of support for
such activities in most clinical settings, the scien-
tist± practitioner model was doing as well as could
be expected. Likewise, Milne et al.'s (1990) survey of
73 psychologists, found a high reported level of
producing (undertaking and publishing), consum-
ing (reading), and utilizing (applying to practice)
research. As O'Donohue and Szymanski (1994)
point out, the growing number of review publica-
tions and advances in technology such as CD ROM
has made research much more accessible.
However, from the standpoint of clinical psychol-
ogy, a study by Agnew et al. (1995) suggests that
there is no room for complacency in terms of
research output. Agnew et al. compared the research
output of clinical psychologists and psychiatrists
working in and around part of London. Across the
whole sample of clinical psychologists and psychi-
atrists working in both academic and practice
#1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Vol. 4, 75±83 (1997)
78 C. G. Long and C. R. Hollin
settings, the psychiatrists significantly outerformed
the psychologists on five out of six indices of
research performance (there was no difference on
the other). In academic settings the psychologists
more than matched the psychiatrists, but outside of
academic settings the difference was even more
marked, with the psychiatrists doing better on all
markers of research output.
Of course, as Agnew et al. note, this is a relatively
small scale study in a particular geographical
region, and the actual research indices say more
about volume than quality of research. Nonetheless,
Agnew et al. pose an interesting point when
they suggest that clinical psychologists may have
inflated opinions about their research skills. Is
it possible that so many clinical psychologists
have moved away from the scientis practitioner
modelÐ in the study by Agnew et al. almost half the
non-academic clinical psychologists had not pub-
lished in a peer review journalÐthat practitioner-
based clinical research is at risk of becoming an
endangered species?
Another approach to criticizing the scientist±
practitioner model questions the basic assumptions
most closely associated with conducting research to
suggest that research is misleading and irrelevant.
The list of criticisms below that fall under this
general heading is mainly extracted from Pilgrim
and Treacher (1992).
Research is Misleading and Irrelevant
Researchers are (Not) Impartial
The stereotype of the impartial researcher was
examined by Broad and Wade (1985) in their book
Betrayers of the Trust: Fraud & Deceit in Science. Broad
and Wade attacked the view of research scientists as
impartial seekers of truth, citing examples of
malpractice and fraudulence. Pilgrim and Treacher
(1992), admitting that Broad and Wade do not
discuss psychological research in detail, with the
exception of `Burt's fabrication of data in his papers'
(p. 65), applied this position to the scientist±
practitioner model in clinical psychology. (The
allusion to Burt's fraudulence is made despite
continued debate on the accuracy of such claims.)
Thus, the view is advanced that research in clinical
research cannot be trusted as it is methodologically
unsound and largely irrelevant; while, in a handful
of studies, some researchers are unwilling or unable
to share their data and can make mistakes. Thus
claims that the scientist±practitioner model is
successful (e.g. Strickland, 1983) are seen as politic-
ally motivated, being `a crucial part of the profes-
sion's (i.e. clinical psychology) rhetoric in
establishing its superiority vis-a
Á±vis other profes-
sions such as psychiatry, social work and nursing'
(Pilgrim and Treacher, 1992, p. 82).
Research is Not Value Free
The socially myopic scientist is perhaps one of the
great myths about the research community. It is
abundantly clear from diverse material such as
biographies and interviews that many scientists
struggle with the moral and ethical issues associ-
ated with their work. Indeed, Prigogine and
Stengers' (1984) book Order Out of Chaos, makes
the point that all measurements, experiments, and
observations are only truths within given situations
and contexts. In their view, with which most
contemporary researchers in the human sciences
would surely agree, researchers always remain
`at the mercy of triviality and poor judgement'
(p. 42). It is precisely for that reason that profes-
sional bodies have codes of ethics to guide research.
Similarly, many centres of applied research are
concerned to have ethics committees to oversee
their research programmes.
Empiricism Equals Positivism
In a discussion of tactics used to destroy and
discredit clinical research evidence, Andrews (1989)
notes that invoking the demon of positivism is a
common ploy. To label a body of research as
positivistic is, it seems, to negate any value that the
research might have. At a more rational level,
there are problems simply in coming to an under-
standing of the term `positivism'. In a critique,
Halfpenny (1982) was able to identify no fewer than
12 positivisms. To equate empirical research with
positivism is, it follows, rather meaningless without
specifying what positivism is implicated. However,
the real issue is not one of philosophical exactness,
but a knee-jerk reaction by those bent on
knowledge destruction. As Halfpenny notes, anti-
positivists, `use the term loosely and indiscrim-
inately to describe all sorts of disfavoured forms of
inquiry' (p. 11).
Research Relies on Statistics
It is true that some research does use statistics, but
it is not clear why this is such a bad thing. Further,
many researchers use a range of approaches to
understanding their data, including qualitative as
well as quantitative methods. In recent years, for
example, the usefulness of single case study designs
and small ndesigns in bridging the scientist±
practitioner gap has been highlighted (e.g. Long
#1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Vol. 4, 75±83 (1997)
Scientist± Practitioner 79
and Hollin, 1995), along with sophisticated qualita-
tive research methods such as Grounded Theory
(Strauss and Corbin, 1990). This is not to say that
statistical tests have always been used correctly, as
shown by Dar et al. (1994), this is patently not
the case. However, as Dar et al. point out, this
simply means that researchers need to think care-
fully about their style and methods of statistical
analysis. Inappropriate use of statistical tests in
some research is not an argument for abandoning
statistically informed evaluation of therapeutic
Clinical Researchers are Behaviourists
The same argument applies here as for posi-
tivism: what type of behaviourism is implied?
While it may be the case that much clinical research
is carried out by those who espouse some form of a
behavioural stance, it is nonsense to imply that this
is true for all clinical research.
Pilgrim and Treacher (1992) discuss three alterna-
tives to the scientist±practitioner model for clinical
psychology: the psychodynamic model, eclecticism,
and the concept of the reflective practitioner (Schon,
1983). However, with the possible exception of the
reflective practitioner, these are theoretical models
for the practice of clinical psychology, not philoso-
phies than underpin the discipline. For example,
one can embrace the principles of psychodynamic
theory to inform practice and be committed (or not)
to a scientist± practitioner stance. Once theory and
philosophy are conceptually disentangled, it is self-
evident that there are three philosophies: the
scientist model, the practitioner model, and the
scientist± practitioner.
The Scientist Model
The clinical psychologist whose practice followed a
pure scientific model would, presumably, adhere
strictly to a set of theoretical principles, and would
only use techniques of empirically proven effective-
ness in the given circumstances. Eventually the
accumulation of empirical knowledge would lead to
theoretical modification and change, in turn leading
to the development of new techniques to inform
clinical practice. Of course, it is difficult to see how
this pure model could ever be realized in practice.
Given current knowledge, clinical psychologists will
always be in a position where they will need to
innovate and work on accepted best practice rather
than on scientifically proven methods.
The Practitioner Model
In a practitioner model, the clinical psychologist
learns about practice from other practitioners,
typically their teachers. Barlow et al. (1984) make
the point that: `Those early practitioners who could
communicate their theories clearly, or who pre-
sented new and exciting principles, tended to attract
many followers. If those same people wrote
prolifically and/or gave numerous workshops, then
their procedures would be far more likely to be
adopted through sheer exposure than would
procedures of those who gave fewer workshops or
wrote, very little about what they were doing'
(p. 34).
Thus practice is more likely to be influenced by a
charismatic leader than by mundane research. It
seems likely that once absorbed the exciting new
principles would be applied by practitioners on a
piecemeal, trial and error basis. (There is also the
phenomenon of individual practitioners becoming
their own charismatic leaders, devising their own
principles and style of practice that `works for
them'.) It is sobering to realize, as Barlow et al.
(1984) point out, that cognitive therapy and biofeed-
back were developed, popularized, and widely
adopted before compelling research data on their
effectiveness had been gathered. While there is now
a respectable database of knowledge on those two
methods, there are doubtless many other therapies
in widespread use for which there is no research
evidence of effectiveness. However, if the words of
the charismatic leader and one's own experience
and intuition are the benchmarks, data matter little.
As O'Donohue and Szymanski (1994) note, clinical
intuition and personal observation and judgement
does not stand up terribly well, involving a variety
of errors that can lead to harm for clients and the
profession of clinical psychology.
The Scientist± Practitioner
It is evident that within clinical psychology empir-
ical research can embrace a range of types and
forms of enquiry, have a basis in several theoretical
approaches, and use a multitude of methods and
styles of analysis. The clinical psychologist as a
scientist± practitioner will seek to use the findings of
such research to augment and inform their practice.
The scientist± practitioner therefore strives for a
#1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Vol. 4, 75±83 (1997)
80 C. G. Long and C. R. Hollin
symbiosis between research and their own experi-
ence. The model of the reflective practitioner
actually informs the latter half of this process in
suggesting ways to structure and use constructively
one's own experience of practice.
It is not difficult to mount an argument that
dual training in practice and research skill lends
a valuable quality to the profession of clinical
psychology. Edwards (1987) notes that since
problem solving is a central process for both
researchers and practitioners, it follows that the
roles of scientist and practitioner are compatible.
The ability to consider intelligently both clinical and
research issues is arguably mutually beneficial to
the researcher and the clinician in the performance
of their respective functions. Indeed, practice brings
to research the insight, judgment, and experience
that comes from daily interaction with difficult
practical issues and problems (Schopler, 1987). The
problem with the gap between professional know-
ledge and the demands of real world professional
practice, highlighted by Schon (1983) and Rein and
White (1981), is potentially capable of resolution
within the scientist± practitioner framework. Simon
(1972) argues that all professional practice is
centrally concerned with `design', i.e. the process
of `changing existing situations into preferred ones'
(p. 56).
In his presidential address to the British Psycho-
logical Society's Annual Conference, Watts (1992)
commented on the perennial danger of psychology
`falling apart' and fragmenting into an academic
discipline concerned with basic research that had
little connection with a profession with valuable
applied skills. In describing the obstacles that the
practitioner has in applying science to practice,
Phillips (1989) points out that while it is important
to strengthen the interface between science and
practice, the practical application of science is not
generally well understood. There is probably some
force to the argument that researchers do not
always consider an applied perspective. Rush
(1994), for example, notes the need to make user-
friendly to practitioners the vast amount of well-
established information on the treatment of depres-
sion. In a thought provoking article on the obstacles
to disseminating applied psychological science,
Beutler et al. (1993) report survey findings suggest-
ing that while clinicians believe research findings
are and have been important in modifying their
practice, they receive `research' information not
from research journals but from workshops,
popular books and practice-oriented journals.
The implication of this is that scientists need to
modulate their findings through vehicles of com-
munication valued by practitioners. The importance
of this is highlighted by Burnham's (1987) persuas-
ive argument that the popularization of science by
journalists in fragmented bits and pieces is one of
the major reasons for the widespread acceptance of
superstitious beliefs. Indeed, a major problem in
applying science to practice, is overcoming attitudes
that tend to justify and reinforce isolation of the
scientific community on the one hand, and the
practitioner community on the other. Evaluation is
long overdue of the variety of ways of integrating
the work of the scientist and the practitioner for
their mutual benefit (Heppner and Anderson, 1985;
Garmezy and Masten, 1986; Beutler et al., 1993).
Adoption of the scientist± practitioner model
means that development in clinical psychology is
guided by both practice and empirical research.
However, to make this statement does not mean
a blind acceptance of stereotypes of empirical
research. It is a matter of debate, even empirical
debate, whether a dual training in clinical and
research skills produces better or worse clinical
psychologists. Further, it is necessary to be clear on
the criteria by which to judge the success or failure
of a model. While there are several criteria that
might be used, it is surely the effectiveness in
practice of clinical psychologists working to differ-
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... CBT is also acknowledged most recently, as being a cost-effective evidence-based and structured psychological intervention when compared to others (Mavranezouli et al., 2020). The use and adherence to the Roth and Pilling Framework (2008) in the training of Therapists and adherence to the Scientist Practitioner Model (Long & Hollin, 1997) provide further evidence of its widespread use and effectiveness. This paper involves a discussion around the importance and value of the integration of a structured model of assessment and delivery of evidence-based interventions with the use of The Scientist Practitioner Model, within the specialty of Substance Misuse (SM). ...
... A way to measure their progress as they move through our systems of collaborative care which hopefully reflects progress and improved functionality and a reduction of presenting anxiety-based symptoms. By adherence to The Scientist Practitioner Model ( (Long & Hollin, 1997), they give a good indication in relation to which way the patient is traveling linked to the working hypothesis and the cognitive behavioral interventions to assist and facilitate the patient toward wellness manifesting itself with measured improved functionality and a reduction of often distressing anxiety-based presenting symptoms. ...
... Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the importance of measurement for all these reasons. The routine use of VRSs demonstrates the importance and benefits of adhering to a specific evidence-based model of intervention such as The Scientist Practitioner Model (Long & Hollin, 1997). ...
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Objective The benefits of adherence to an evidence-based model of intervention in the delivery of Cognitive Behavior Therapy in substance misuse is debated. The advantages to both patient and therapist of taking a structured and systematic approach is explored in depth. Fidelity to The Scientist Practitioner Model is an evidence-based way of yielding good clinical outcomes. Along the way, on their journey through treatment, patients are facilitated toward a reduction in the intensity and frequency of anxiety-based symptoms, thus improving their functionality and overall quality of life. The use of Validated Rating Scales is an independent method of measurement. Cognitive Behavior Therapy has an over-whelming evidence-base to support its use, with reference to anxiety-based disorders. Conclusion This discussion supports the importance of the role of Validated Rating Scales and how they can benefit evidence-based clinical interventions such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy, as they represent an impartial method of measurement of functionality and symptom severity. The importance of their integration into routine interventions is highlighted. Adapting to new ways of working such as remote delivery of psychological interventions has now become the new ‘normal’ as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
... The literature captured a problematic dynamic between psychotherapy practice and research, suggesting, for instance, that therapists rarely initiate research (Norcross & Prochaska, 1983), or that therapists 'read research but not as often as researchers do' (Beutler et al., 1995;Boisvert & Faust, 2006;Morrow-Bradley & Elliott, 1986) and when they do, their 'research' often stems from a seemingly unstructured integration of knowledge gained from workshops, text books and theoretical articles (Darlington & Scott, 2002;Morrow-Bradley & Elliott, 1986;Norcross & Prochaska, 1983;Safran et al., 2011;Silberschatz, 2017;Tasca, 2015;Taubner et al., 1997). Long and Hollin (1997) found that 'a number of [therapist] clinicians hold negative attitudes towards research, which is portrayed as irrelevant to practice and ranking below more pressing service commitments' (p. 77). ...
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This paper addresses therapists’ experiences when ‘doing research’, with a special interest in their needs for support. It involves revisiting earlier studies into opportunities and obstacles—personally, professionally and academically for psychotherapists and counselling psychologists (therapists) when transitioning to and from postgraduate research. How do therapists experience research; what motivates them to undertake doctoral research; how do they chose to generate knowledge and why; and how will expectations meet outcomes? This ‘re‐search’ approaches earlier studies with an interest in research support. It highlights significant personal, professional and academic obstacles for therapists transitioning into research. Shame, isolation and poor opportunities to research and engage on academic platforms are some of the areas being referred to. Consistent with such needs, our pilot study into research supervision showed how supervisees rated ‘empathy’ as highly as ‘research experience’ for ‘constructive’ supervision. Our review involves a ‘hybrid meta‐synthesis’ that combines autoethnographic and secondary analysis aims. It draws on personal experience of grappling with methodological options as examples of how mixed methods study may ‘come about’ or develop as part of team research practice.
... LONG;HOLLIN, 1997). Isso se deu pelo MCP ter sido inicialmente elaborado de maneira a enfatizar a pesquisa e a prática como atividades separadas, mas paralelas. ...
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As Diretrizes Curriculares Nacionais para os cursos de graduação em psicologia requerem o desenvolvimento de habilidades e competências no estudante de graduação. Muito embora a definição das habilidades e competências a serem ensinadas não sejam consensuais, há habilidades básicas que servem como alicerce para o exercício competente da profissão. Entre essas habilidades estão aquelas desenvolvidas por meio da prática e do consumo de pesquisas em psicologia clínica. Habilidades e competências tais quais observar um fenômeno, formular questões, buscar bibliografia, estabelecer o melhor método de intervenção e investigação, verificar os resultados da intervenção e relatá-los, em muito se assemelha aos repertórios-chave comuns aos mais diversos campos de atuação profissional, incluindo a psicologia clínica. Nesse cenário, o Serviço de Psicologia Aplicada do curso de psicologia figura-se como o palco para a materialização dessas articulações nos graduandos da Universidade Federal de Jataí. O presente trabalho discute a articulação dessas habilidades e competências por meio do relato de experiência nas disciplinas de estágio básico e específico em psicologia clínica, oferecidos pela cadeira de Análise do Comportamento da supracitada instituição.
... Despite its strengths, however, there have been several criticisms of the scientist-practitioner model (Long & Hollin, 1997). For instance, it has been argued that the roles and skills of the scientist and practitioner are incompatiblean argument that has not been substantiated. ...
Research informing our clinical practice, and our clinical practice informing our research, is at the heart of the scientist-practitioner model. This chapter will demonstrate how psychologists can work within the scientist-practitioner model in the field of psychosis, using specialist “voices” clinics as the example. Voices clinics offer a symptom-specific and mechanistically targeted approach to improve outcomes for people with auditory (“voices”) and other hallucinations. These clinics are transdiagnostic because voices are experienced by people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders, other psychological disorders, neurological disorders and in those with no diagnosis at all. This chapter will describe how the scientist-practitioner model informed the development and implementation of voices clinics, including the opportunity to conduct research and embed student and clinician training.
Background/Aims The apparent tensions between the scientist-practitioner and the reflective-practitioner aspects of counselling psychology identity may underpin counselling psychologists’ relationship with research. This issue becomes vital at a time when research activity can assist survivability within a competitive context and the promotion of Counselling Psychology as a distinct professional discipline. The present study explores counselling psychologists’ subjective experience of research and their perceptions of what may motivate, facilitate or hinder their engagement with it, whilst considering the context within which research activity takes place. Methodology The present paper presents the second, qualitative part of a larger mixed-methods research project investigating the relationship of chartered counselling psychologists with research. Data was collected through individual, semi-structured interviews with four chartered counselling psychologists (two residing and practicing in Greece and two residing and practicing in the UK), and was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Findings Three superordinate themes emerged from the data: ‘Stance/attitudes towards research’; ‘Research activity and inactivity’; and ‘Contextual dimensions of research’. A discussion of the subthemes revealed the role of ambivalence, counselling psychology identity and the interplay between internal and contextual factors in determining counselling psychologists’ involvement with research post-qualification. Discussion A number of implications and recommendations for training institutions, professional organisations and the British Psychological Society are presented that could help promote the development and implementation of research-friendly environments within the field of counselling psychology, in order to enhance counselling psychologists’ relationship and engagement with research in the long term.
Background/Aims The ‘scientist-practitioner’ and the ‘reflective-practitioner’ are the preferred models of training and practice within the discipline of counselling psychology. However, chartered counselling psychologists seem to exhibit a diminished interest for research engagement and remarkably low research productivity. The present study aims to identify and investigate factors that may motivate, facilitate or hinder counselling psychologists’ engagement with research, whilst taking into account the context within which research activity takes place. Methodology The present paper presents the first, quantitative part of a larger mixed-methods research project investigating the relationship of chartered counselling psychologists with research. Data was collected from 94 chartered counselling psychologists (living and practicing either in Greece or the UK), who completed online two self-report questionnaires (CP-RAS and SAS). Multiple Linear Regression was subsequently conducted in order to predict and explain the relationship between motivational, facilitating, hindering and contextual factors with chartered counselling psychologists’ scholarly activity. Results Analysis revealed that motivation, but not facilitating, hindering or contextual factors, was a significant predictor of counselling psychologists’ research activity, even after controlling for key demographic variables. Participants’ gender, years of professional experience and professional post were also significant predictors of research activity, with males, practitioners with more years of professional experience and academics reporting higher scholarly activity. Discussion The present study offers useful insight into the factors enhancing or thwarting counselling psychologists’ engagement with research. The results are examined in relation to existing literature, and the implications for the training, research and practice of counselling psychology are discussed.
Content and Focus Counselling psychologists offer their services to clients in organisational, political and economic contexts that are characterised by increasing levels of complexity, uncertainty and turbulence. Investigating the effectiveness of what we do remains critical to the future of the psychology professions, but our traditional approaches to scientific enquiry may not be adequate for the types of dilemma generated by complexity. Conclusions This paper describes a framework, adapted from contemporary complexity theory, that can support us in thinking systematically and creatively about the range of investigative skills we might need if professional practice is to prove fit for purpose in the decades to come. It is proposed that complexity theory can assist us in responding creatively to the dilemmas of living and working in unprecedented times.
The ever-pressing need to advance the practice of psychological therapy has, in recent years, led to the development of evidence-based practice: a framework which elevates research findings to the heart of the therapeutic endeavour. Proposed as a means of developing the professional practice of individuals, as well as informing service planning more broadly, the introduction of evidence-based practice raises critical issues of a methodological, epistemological and professional nature that are yet to be adequately addressed. As these issues have a potentially profound impact on the development of the profession, they require on-going discussion and review. By considering some of the potential benefits and costs of this approach to health care, the aim of this paper is to create a forum for debate and in doing so, raise questions that require our individual and collective attention as we take the profession forward into the 21st century.
In 1994, counselling psychology was endorsed by the Society as a distinct psychological profession with a unique identity and philosophy of practice. The philosophy underlying counselling psychology raises questions about the approaches and models of practice upon which it is appropriate to draw. However, this expectation cannot be divorced from a consideration of the extent to which different models are consistent with the underlying philosophy of counselling psychology itself. This may give rise to a number of practice-related tensions, particularly concerning those approaches which appear to focus more explicitly on therapeutic technique than on the therapeutic relationship. Cognitive therapy is an example of one such approach that may appear to favour technique over relationship and that might, therefore, be perceived as incongruent with the underlying value system of counselling psychology. For example, it has often been argued that cognitive therapy emphasises cognitive and behavioural changes over the interpersonal aspects of the therapeutic process. This paper has been written in the context of this debate and its aim is to highlight how cognitive therapy can be understood as consistent with the philosophy of counselling psychology, when the role of the therapeutic relationship is re-examined in the light of collaborative empiricism and more recent developments in schema-focused therapy. Through theoretical review and case vignettes detailing how, in particular, difficulties in the therapeutic relationship can be conceptualised and addressed, it is hoped that this paper will contribute to a greater appreciation of how cognitive therapy can be understood as advancing practice in the context of the counselling relationship.
Long before psychology, bias has existed in science. From the beginning, concerns have been raised about the reliability, validity, and accuracy of social science research (Meehl, 1954). In this chapter, we define and discuss the origins of bias and how it can erode the scientific method. We focus specifically on bias in psychological research, theory, assessment, and treatment. We discuss the range of common misconceptions and misinformation that permeates the female offender literature. Finally, we conclude with ten myths about female offenders and offer guidelines for identifying bias and how to avoid it.
In commenting on the proposals by R. E. Fox et al (see PA, 73:12821) concerning the training of professional psychologists, the present author supports their suggestion for establishing a 2-yr training program and their rejection of the freestanding professional school, but also indicates the value of a comprehensive program that incorporates both basic and applied psychology. (12 ref)
Comments on C. D. Belar and N. W. Perry's (see record 1992-21285-001), L. T. Hoshmand and D. E. Polkinghorne's (see record 1992-21300-001), and J. J. Sullivan and R. P. Quevillon's (see record 1992-21308-001) articles affirming a commitment to the scientist-practitioner model for training practicing psychologists. An important limitation, it is noted, is the lack of postgraduate employment that supports the internalization of the scientist-practitioner role. Organizational models are needed to compliment interdisciplinary work.
This article deals with the role of the practitioner in the translation of science and practice. Obstacles to a better understanding of the nature of the relation between the science and practice of psychology are described, and suggestions for a better alliance between researchers and practitioners are made.
Any serious attempt to explain social life has to come to terms with sociology's positivist legacy. It is a heritage on the one hand from the seventeenth-century political arithmeticians and the later moral statisticians who believed that quantification would provide the basis for a dispassionate analysis of social affairs; and on the other hand from the nineteenth-century post-Enlightenment social philosophers who were eager to develop an empirical science of society that would enable them to control social conduct – just as the physical sciences had provided the knowledge to tame nature. Yet every debate about the relation between positivism and sociology is clouded by the diversity of uses of the term 'positivism' – uses that are so varied that some can pronounce positivism dead while others find it still the vital force that dominates sociology. The particular merit of Peter Halfpenny's book is that it makes this diversity of uses its central theme. In order to provide a clear basis from which to assess controversial questions about the contribution of the positivist traditions to sociology, the book reviews twelve different important uses of the term 'positivism' that have emerged at different times since the mid-nineteenth century, when Auguste Comte coined both 'positivism' and 'sociology'. This review is conducted by examining the historical development of the two independent roots of modern sociological positivism – positivist philosophy and statistics – and by analysing logical positivist philosophy, which in many ways defined the course of twentieth century philosophy of the social (as well as the natural) sciences.