Scientist, Reflective, Critical Practitioners - you what?!

How do we compare to other professions, what roles do we take, etc. Includes descriptions of "a week in the life" of relevant posts.
Post Reply
Posts: 3100
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 11:32 pm
Location: London

Scientist, Reflective, Critical Practitioners - you what?!

Post by Ruthie »

There are a number of ways of understanding the role of a clinical psychologist.

The Scientist Practitioner

"The scientist-practitioner model produces a psychologist who is uniquely educated and trained to generate and integrate scientific and professional knowledge, attitudes, and skills so as to further psychological science, the professional practice of psychology, and human welfare. The graduate of this training model is capable of functioning as an investigator and as a practitioner, and may function as either or both, consistent with the highest standards in psychology." (Belar & Perry, 1992).

This definition has been further elaborated and updated, and in the UK. Shapiro (2002) recently defined a number of competencies that characterize the scientist-practitioner model.

* Delivering assessment and intervention procedures in accordance with protocols Assessing and integrating scientific findings to inform healthcare decisions Framing and testing hypotheses that inform healthcare decisions Building and maintaining effective teamwork with other healthcare professionals that support the delivery of scientist-practitioner contributions Research-based training and support to other healthcare professions in the delivery of psychological care
* Contributing to practice-based research and development to improve the quality and effectiveness of psychological aspects of healthcare ~taken from Salomons' Clinical Training website

I would also add, that an important compent of the scientist practioner model is in how you work clinically - so you take a "scientific approach" in your day to day clinical work, developing and testing hypotheses with clients as part of formulation, intervention and reformulation. Behavioural experiments in CBT may fit in very well here. Another example might be carrying out functional analysis to work out some hypotheses as to what the antecedents and reinforcers to someone's challenging behaviour - then testing these hypotheses by changing the antecedents and reinforcers to see whether that changes the person's behaviour.

The Reflective Practitioner

Schön (1987) developed the model of the ‘reflective practitioner' both building upon the ‘scientist practitioner' model and criticizing it. Clegg (1998) describes this model well in terms of the capabilities expected of a Clinical Psychologist:

‘Schön's main thesis is that the expert's personal qualities should not remain mysterious, that they can be studied and the opportunity to acquire them provided for students and practitioners alike…….The idea of reflective practice cuts across the theory-practice axis, making personal knowledge and interaction as important as command of technical skills.' (p. 7-8 )

Reflective Practice embodies 8 main concepts
Practice-based learning
Knowledge in action
Integration of theory and practice
Problem setting and then problem solving
The element of surprise Improvisation
Reflection in action
~taken from Salomons' Clinical Training website

The Critical Practitioner

Critical psychology, whilst defined in various ways, most would agree with Parker (1999) that it is ‘a movement that challenges psychology to work towards emancipation and social justice, and that opposes the uses of psychology to perpetuate oppression and injustice.'

This model can be seen as representing a final perspective that places the ethical practice of the capable practitioner within a wider social and political context. By endeavouring to train psychologists to be critical psychologists recognition is given to the uses and misuses of psychology in the past and places emphasis on the individual and social responsibility of the clinician to contribute ethically in the future. Whilst critical psychology is a newly emerging model of practice, some substantial contributions have been made which give direction to the practice of critical psychology (e.g. Prilleltensky & Fox, 1997).
~taken from Salomons' Clinical Training website

(PS. If anyone has the references for this or thinks they could add, particularly to the reflective and critical practioner sections, I think that would be really helpful - Ruthie)

Last checked by a qualified clinical psychologist (BlueCat) on 23/05/2016
Last edited 23/05/2016 - broken links removed
Any Psychologists out there want to come and join us? We have an opportunity for an additional clinical/practitioner psychologist to join our highly skilled, tight knit, diverse clinical team
Post Reply