Core tenets of the scientist–practitioner model include:
- Delivering psychological assessment (psychological testing) and psychological intervention procedures in accordance with scientifically based protocols;
- Accessing 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 supports the delivery of scientist–practitioner contributions;
- Research-based training and support to other health professions in the delivery of psychological care;
- Contributing to practice-based research and development to improve the quality and effectiveness of psychological aspects of health care.
Some have questioned if it is possible, in today's climate, to continue to expect practicing clinical psychologists to be able to adhere to the ideals and tenets of the scientist–practitioner model. Many clinicians find it difficult to complete their practical duties let alone conduct research (which often goes unfunded) or to remain up-to-date with cutting edge science.
Those clinical psychologists who do adhere to a scientist-practitioner model of practice are likely to utilize techniques that have been scientifically validated through extensive research, or treatments that are empirically supported as effective. It is widely accepted, for example, that cognitive–behavioral therapy is effective in treating a host of mental illnesses.
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