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The Research-Informed Clinician: A Guide to Training the Next-Generation MFT

Authors


  • Eli A. Karam, PhD, LMFT, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, The Kent School of Social Work, University of Louisville; Douglas H. Sprenkle, PhD, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, Department of Child Development and Family Studies, Purdue University

Address correspondence to Douglas H. Sprenkle, PhD, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, Department of Child Development and Family Studies, Fowler House, 1200 W. State St., Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907. E-mail: sprenkled@aol.com

Abstract

The gap between clinical research and practice is a major challenge facing marriage and family therapy (MFT) training programs. Until now, the answer to bridge this gap has primarily been the Boulder Scientist-Practitioner Model. Although realistic for doctoral students, it may not be a good fit for MFT master’s students who have primarily clinical career ambitions—which we believe is a legitimate and positive career choice. The following article articulates a “research informed” perspective as opposed to the scientist-practitioner framework as a research-training model for clinically oriented MFT master’s programs. After articulating the similarities and differences between these two approaches, the authors outline 10 practical ideas to integrate research into programs that desire to remain clinical in focus, but also research informed.

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