Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 51–59 | Cite as

Ten Criteria to Qualify As a Scientist-Practitioner in Clinical Psychology: An Immodest Proposal for Objective Standards

  • James C. Overholser
Original Paper


The term ‘scientist-practitioner’ has never been defined in clear or objective terminology. Detailed criteria may help to guide new generations of clinical psychologists to live by the ideals of the Boulder model. Ten criteria are proposed for evaluating the scientist-practitioner in clinical psychology across three domains: scholarship, clinical practice, and the integration of science and practice in psychology. The scientist-practitioner remains active in scholarly works, making regular contributions to the field. These contributions are visible at a national level of impact, and they extend beyond teaching. The scientist-practitioner remains active in the clinical practice of psychology, conducting face-to-face work with clients on regular basis, even if it involves a rather modest time commitment. The clinical services reflect standard clinical practices and extend beyond the supervision of others. The scientist-practitioner strives to integrate the science and practice of psychology. This integration centers around evidence-based practice, and can be seen when scholarship examines issues relevant to mental illness and its treatment.


Science Practice Integration 



I want to thank the following people for thoughtful, helpful, supportive, and critical comments on these issues and earlier drafts of this paper: Bob Butler, Jim Yokley, Julia DiFilippo, Susan Knell, Nicole Peak, Abby Braden, Patti Watson, Lauren Fisher, Katie Brooks, and Christina Vasilev.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA

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