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date: 09 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter describes the role of psychological theory and its relation to counseling practice, with a special emphasis on counseling psychology’s unique opportunity to enhance the integration of science and practice in psychology. Improving science–practice integration is presented as critical to fulfilling counseling psychology’s claim that its interventions are science-based. The chapter discusses psychological theory generally, and the pathways (both scientific and clinical) through which theory influences counseling interventions. It reviews both the theoretical and research bases of treatment, with a particular focus on how treatments are evaluated. This includes a focus on efficacy, effectiveness, and meta-analytic studies, and how new treatments develop and are accepted by the field; and a focus on differences between practitioners and researchers in their acceptance of treatments as established practice. Matching specific, theoretically distinct, evidence-based treatments to specific client problems is contrasted with the theory-integrating, common factors approach. The chapter closes with a series of future directions for reducing the science–practice gap in counseling psychology.

Keywords: science–practice integration, theory and meta-theory, treatment efficacy and effectiveness, empirically supported interventions, common factors

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