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Professional Psychology: Research and Practice - Vol 45, Iss 2

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Professional Psychology: Research and Practice Professional Psychology: Research and Practice publishes articles on the application of psychology, including the scientific underpinnings of the profession of psychology.
Copyright 2014 American Psychological Association
  • Psychological practice in rural settings: At the cutting edge.
    This article reviews how psychologists working in rural communities often have to be at the cutting edge of practice because of the issues inherent in rural life. Problems faced by rural residents, such as poverty, unemployment, lack of transportation, lack of education, substance abuse, lack of health and mental health providers, and lack of insurance, complicate living day-to-day and receiving physical and mental health care. In addition to reviewing these topics, we highlight 3 areas of emphasis in psychology in which rural psychologists are on the cutting edge: integrated care, use of technology, and prescription privileges. Implications for professional practice include considering adopting the changes in the field such as pursuing training in telehealth technology, investigating advocacy, the benefits of possible collaboration with rural training programs and researchers, and prescription privileges. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • The diminishing durability of knowledge in professional psychology: A second look at specializations.
    Using a Delphi polling methodology and a small sample of identified experts in the field, recent research has noted the widely variable, and rapidly diminishing, half-life of knowledge across a range of specialties within professional psychology (Neimeyer, Taylor, & Rozensky, 2012). The current article provides methodological triangulation in relation to this previous work by surveying a large number (N = 402) of board-certified psychologists across the full range of specialties recognized by the American Psychological Association and the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). Results again supported a wide range of perceived half-lives across the various specialties and a consistent trend toward the diminishing durability of knowledge in these fields over time. Current perceived half-lives varied from a high of 18.37 years (in the area of Psychoanalysis) to a low of 7.58 years (in the area of Clinical Health Psychology), with the overall durability of knowledge across all areas being 8.68 years. The future half-lives of knowledge were expected to shrink in every area of specialization to as little as 5.61 years (in Clinical Health Psychology) within a decade from now. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to the field’s continuing commitment to the maintenance and demonstration of professional competence and its ongoing movement toward increased specialization. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Values and goals in clinical psychology training programs: Are practice and science at odds?
    Clinical psychology programs rate their research versus practice orientation on a bipolar scale but this singular rating might mask important differences across programs in the extent to which training programs have goals in both research and practice. The current study determined associations between training goals in practice and research across program models. All APA-accredited programs in clinical psychology were invited to participate; 43% of surveyed programs provided data. Participants were 26 clinical science programs, 50 scientist practitioner programs, and 22 practitioner scholar programs. Research training goals were not significantly correlated with practice training goals. Within each training model, programs varied widely on research and practice goals. Further, many programs (42%) rated research goals and practice goals as simultaneously strong, which conveys information about programs that is not available on a single bipolar program orientation scale. Programs with stronger research goals reported more commitment to evidence-based practice. Instead of a single scale for programs to indicate their research versus practice orientation, we propose a 2-scale system for programs to separately rate research and practice training goals. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Consolidation rather than termination: Rethinking how psychologists label and conceptualize the final phase of psychological treatment.
    Some clinicians and theorists have noted that termination is an ill-advised choice for labeling and potentially conceptualizing the final, but critical phase of psychotherapy. The adoption of termination is believed to have been due, at least in part, to a 1930s mistranslation of Freud’s original writings (e.g., Schlesinger, 2005). The purpose of this article is to discuss potential implications and contemporary limitations associated with the label, termination, and explicitly conceptualize an active, strengths-based approach to ending psychotherapy. Current areas of concern include the negatively valenced label and the seemingly absent tenor of positive collaboration despite previous efforts to formalize more productive psychotherapy endings. Consolidation is presented as preferred, novel terminology given its coherence with the aims of ending psychotherapy, utilizing a strengths-based approach, and also with current therapeutic paradigms. The process of ending psychotherapy typically involves solidifying improvements made over the course of psychotherapy and reorienting clients to life outside of formal psychotherapy—a consolidation conceptualization. We posit that the nature of this ending begins with careful language that appropriately captures this phase of treatment and that drives how psychotherapists collaborate with clients and patients to maximize clinical outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Helping clients help themselves: Managing ethical concerns when offering guided self-help interventions in psychotherapy practice.
    An imbalance exists in the mental health care system; a majority of those suffering from mental illnesses are underserved as a result of barriers to participating in psychotherapy, yet simultaneously, many people who receive psychotherapy could more efficiently benefit from a less-intensive intervention. This imbalance could be addressed in part by alternatives to traditional once-a-week talk therapy that utilize minimal therapist support in combination with other resources. One such alternative, guided self-help, has shown promise in studies and is attractive to clients. However, aspects of the guided self-help approach raise ethical concerns about whether to offer this treatment and when and how to do so. This article outlines these concerns and provides a practical, research-based guide to upholding ethical standards when beginning to use guided self-help interventions in one’s practice. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Expert testimony on sensitive myth-ridden topics: Ethics and recommendations for psychological professionals.
    One method of educating the judge or jury during criminal or civil trials is expert testimony. A vast range of issues can be discussed by expert witnesses, yet many of these subjects are based on psychological science. Of the potential topics, the more difficult can be those that are sensitive and myth-ridden. To assist psychological professionals in providing expert testimony on these areas, this article outlines 4 areas that are crucial to the practice: (a) psychologists’ duties to the legal system as well as their licensing agency; (b) an example, rape myths, illustrating how these subjects can unduly bias the judge or jury; (c) suggestions on how to be sensitive; and (d) recommendations on how to debunk common myths. When guided by this information, expert testimony can be less daunting and more effective, resulting in well-prepared professionals and well-informed legal system. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Test usage in four common types of forensic mental health assessment.
    Without established standards of care for different types of forensic mental health assessment, practice surveys can provide information about current trends among evaluators and gauge how “typical” practice follows best practices. This study provides an update on the use of assessment tools in evaluations of response style/malingering, competency to stand trial, mental state at time of alleged offense, and nonsexual violence risk. Almost all forensic evaluators (n = 102) indicated that they use assessment tools to some extent when conducting these types of forensic mental health assessment. Of the 4 instrument types—multiscale inventories, forensic assessment/relevant instruments, cognitive/neuropsychological instruments, and projective techniques—evaluators reported using multiscale inventories at higher rates in evaluations of mental state at time of offense and forensic assessment/relevant instruments at higher rates for the other 3 issues. Projective techniques were used the least often across all forensic issues. We also considered how evaluator variables relate to differences in test usage. Finally, we compare our results with those of previous practice surveys and discuss the implications of these findings. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • VA residential provider perceptions of dissuading factors to the use of two evidence-based PTSD treatments.
    Providers (N = 198) from 38 Department of Veterans Affairs residential posttraumatic stress disorder treatment programs across the United States completed qualitative interviews regarding implementation of 2 evidence-based treatments: prolonged exposure and cognitive processing therapy. As part of this investigation, providers were asked how they decide which patients are appropriate for these treatments. Many indicated that they did not perceive any patient factors that dissuade their use of either evidence-based treatment. However, 3 broad categories emerged surrounding reasons that patients were perceived to be less suitable candidates for the treatments: the presence of psychiatric comorbidities, cognitive limitations, and low levels of patient motivation. Interestingly, providers’ perceived reasons for limited or nonuse of a treatment did not correspond entirely to those espoused by treatment developers. Possible solutions to address provider concerns, including educational and motivational interventions, are noted. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • A policy article—Personal perspectives on the public policy process: Making a difference.
    Highlighting the first-hand experiences of senior colleagues who have been active in shaping our nation’s domestic policies from various positions, the pressing needs of children, including Native American (i.e., American Indian, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian) children and their families, serve as an exemplar to encourage advocacy. Clinicians must learn to get involved in the public policy process as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is steadily implemented. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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