BY: Anna Keyter
Assessment / Treatment
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Why a critical perspective on Scientist-practitioner Model?
With the DSM 5 changes, there is a renewed international reflection on the scientist-practitioner model also known as the medical model. Mental and medical health professionals, as well as researchers, are familiar with the scientist-practitioner concept. This article will take a moment to reflect on the true meaning of the scientist-practitioner in counselling.
Bury & Maise Strause (1) question the scientist-practitioner approach in the following ways:
- As scientist-practitioners, is our purported allegiance to, and reliance upon, ‘official’ sources of knowledge (including theory and scientific evidence) sufficient for us to be confident that we can construct consistently helpful solutions from the myriad clinical data at our fingertips?
- Should we as psychologists accept that full understanding of causality is simply not an achievable objective?
- If we adopt the position that we can never fully explain causes, however, what role do we actually play?
- Can our interventions even be considered valid, let alone scientific?
How do Scientist-Practitioner models influence professionals focussing on the Phenomenological and Humanistic approaches?
There are a number of criticisms of the DSM-5:
- Excludes context information and culture,
- Labelling though diagnosis,
- Stigma after diagnosis. Read more on DSM-5 here.
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(1) Bury, D. & Strauss, S. M. (2006). The Scientist-Practitioner in a Counselling Psychology Setting. In: D. A. Lane & S. Corrie (Eds.), The Modern Scientist-Practitioner: A Guide to Practice in Psychology. (pp. 112-126). London, UK: Routledge. ISBN 1583918868