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Clinical Psychologists as T-Shaped Professionals, 2022, Vriesman et al

Discussion in 'Other health news and research' started by CRG, Dec 3, 2022.

  1. CRG

    CRG Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Clinical Psychologists as T-Shaped Professionals

    Michael Vriesman, Jasmine Dhuga, Leah LaLonde, Efthymia Orkopoulou, Caroline Lucy, Tatum Teeple, Jessica Good, Alexandros Maragakis


    The modern world is becoming increasingly integrated, and disciplines are frequently collaborating with each other. Following this trend, clinical psychologists are also often working within multidisciplinary teams and in settings outside of traditional mental health. To be competent and effective in these contexts, clinical psychologists could benefit from skills outside of psychology. The current psychology training model provides depth of training in psychology but could be improved by providing the breadth of training required of modern clinical psychologists working in these contexts. Other disciplines, such as engineering, business, and social work, have improved their breadth of training through the adoption of the T-shaped model. This model of training allows individuals to simultaneously acquire the depth of knowledge required for their discipline and the breadth required to work effectively in multidisciplinary contexts. This article discusses areas in which clinical psychologists could benefit from broad training and recommendations to implement the T-shaped model.

    Abstract only, full paper avail able from authors on request:

  2. Creekside

    Creekside Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    When I read the title, I thought that psychiatrists/psychologists would be more useful if they assumed a T-shape (arms stretched out). Coat racks at least do no harm. :)
  3. Arnie Pye

    Arnie Pye Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    I don't believe that. In my admittedly very limited experience of doctors in recent years they won't work with others at all. They stick to what they know and won't deal with anything that isn't a perfect fit for their discipline. They [Edit : I'm referring to hospital doctors] just pass the patient back to the GP to pass on to someone else because I don't think they [hospital doctors] can refer patients to other departments and haven't been allowed to since GPs became the main gatekeepers for the NHS.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2022
  4. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    It's definitely true of many disciplines. Healthcare is a clear outlier on this, though.

    I don't really see the role of clinical psychologists on this, though. They've basically become jacks-of-all-trades about everything in healthcare that isn't medical care. I have no idea how psychologists took such a big role being involved in clinical trials and research. The idea here seems to extend this even further, when actually this is not at all a role for psychologists, who should be replaced with people who have been trained in the needed skills, instead of winging them.

    There is a kind of disdain for generalists, for social sciences, but this is exactly what's needed. The idea that medical doctors, trained extensively and exclusively in biology and physiology, should take on so many roles they aren't trained for never made sense. Other disciplines, especially those with adaptable skills, need to be brought into healthcare, but clinical psychology needs to be returned to its actual specialty, not turned into generalists-that-aren't-generalists because they're just filling a void as a weird historical compromise.
  5. Sean

    Sean Moderator Staff Member

    To be competent and effective in these contexts, clinical psychologists could benefit from skills outside of psychology.

    They could start with understanding robust methodology.

    Some of them need a few ethics classes as well.
    rvallee, Creekside, EzzieD and 3 others like this.
  6. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

    Without access to the whole paper it's hard to know what their idea is of 'skills outside of psychology'. With our experience of CBT being warped to include treating 'fear avoidance' behaviours and to tell us we can overcome PEM in ME/CFS, we are naturally likely to be cynical about this.

    If it includes skills such as supporting patients to get financial and care support, that would be fine. If it means pretending they understand biological symptoms and diseases that are as yet unexplained, eg by 'educating' their patients with ME/CFS about the stress/HPA axis model, or deconditioning model, or fear avoidance model, then it's a disaster.

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