The Merits of the Scholar-Practitioner Model
Travett R. Johnson
703 Westpoint Dr.
Rosharon, TX 77583
Dr. Jef Feldman
The journey to fulfill the requirements to become a psychologist must first begin with the decision to enroll into and successfully complete graduate learning. As a learner, there are many challenges and decisions that one must face to ensure that the journey is beneficial. Progression in this journey requires a clear understanding of the merits of the scholar, practitioner, scholar-practitioner, and practitioner-scholar models. The distinction of these terms must first begin with the definition of each. A scholar is a learned person (especially in the humanities); someone who by long study has gained mastery in one or more disciplines (Webster, 1966). Always the pupil, by definition, this learner can sometimes be seen as a specialist in a given branch of knowledge. By way of contrast, a practitioner is one who practices something, especially an occupation, profession or technique (Webster, 1966). Also known as a clinician, a practitioner, usually of medicine or psychology, does clinical work instead of laboratory experiments.
Historically, the first national training conference on clinical psychology was held in 1949 in Boulder, Colorado, and as a result the Boulder model was founded. This model focuses on the scholar-practitioner in which clinical psychologists identify primarily as scientists who apply clinical psychological science to the context of practice with a large emphasis on research (Trierweiler & Stricker, 1998). The goal of the training, educational model, and eventual practice, is for clinicians to use scientific methodology in their practice-decision; to work with clients using scientifically valid methods, tools, and techniques; to inform their clients of...