The term scientist-practitioner refers to an individual who incorporates scientific processes, investigation, findings and principles – setting a problem-solving framework, in their professional work (Lane & Corrie, 2006). Although in a defective manner, the term scientist-practitioner fits mental health counsellors. For instance, the primary role of a mental health practitioner is to foster the development of personal understanding by their clients – solving a problem. Mental health practitioners do that by allowing clients to explore their feelings, perspectives of life, and talk freely. That describes an intervention process, which often follows some proven scientific models, that investigate causes or analyses feasible methods to improve clients’ mental health.
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Some limits for a mental health counsellor to becoming a scientist-practitioner include professional roles. At the core of each discipline, a mentor health counsellor primary goal is the improvement of their clients’ mental health (Lane & Corrie, 2006). That is as required by the APA and other ethical guidance. In contrast, a scientific-practitioner focus on collecting data, to build a library of information used by other professionals (Lane & Corrie, 2006). These limits influence the quality and quantity of original research and theory emanating from the mental health counselling profession since conclusions from a scientist-practitioner are mostly statistically significant compared to those of counsellors.
The clinical practice relies on the best available evidence to make a diagnosis and treat illnesses. Such evidence is availed through research conducted in robust scholarly methods (Curtis, Fry, Shaban & Considine, 2016). In my future counselling practice, I will collect evidence-based data to test the effectiveness of various counselling models for different categories of clients. That way, research-oriented counselling strengthens the outcomes of counselling since it is aimed at “best practice” (Lane & Corrie, 2006). Besides, research provides empirical data concerning the effectiveness of counselling methods and the types of care required for various categories of clients. Hence, research-oriented counselling is effective.
Curtis, K., Fry, M., Shaban, R., & Considine, J. (2016). Translating research findings to clinical nursing practice. Journal Of Clinical Nursing, 26(5-6), 862-872. doi: 10.1111/jocn.13586
Lane, D., & Corrie, S. (2006). The modern scientist-practitioner. London: Routledge.