The Local Clinical Scientist
The problem of integrating science and practice in professional psychology involves two overarching issues: professional identity and methodology. Consider some definitions of these terms: Professional identity refers to a manifold context for understanding the problems of inquiry and method in professional practice, for relating to the body of scientific methodologies currently existing in psychology, for relating to scientific knowledge and the various other information sources affecting the professional’s work, and for guiding professional action. It is a view of the self as a professional (Singer, Peterson, & Magidson, 1992) as an instrument of inquiry that must be pursued actively in one’s training, and it is an ideal for the conduct of professional practice that is achieved uniquely in each successive clinical intervention. Method, in this context, suggests a means for accomplishing the goal of enacting a professional identity. It is interesting to note that the definition and etymology of the concept of method encompasses both means and ends. Skeat (1989) identified the concept as referring to an “arrangement, system, orderly procedure, [or] way.” It comes from the Greek meta (μ∈τα), meaning “after,” and hodos (οδοσ), meaning “a way.” Literally translated, it is “a way after,” or “a following after” (p. 373).
KeywordsCritical Thinking Professional Practice Professional Identity Scientific Methodology Local Reality
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