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The rising suicide rate has emerged as the most alarming issue. The majority of these suicides are a result of untreated mental health issues. One of the major cause behind failure to treat people having suicidal tendencies is the lack of an innovative and culturally sensitive approach. In many cases, people with suicidal tendencies are pushed to these extremes due to their different cultural values such as racial identity, sexual orientation, or religion. In this regard, a multicultural approach with innovative problem-solving methods can effectively treat severe mental health issues. For realizing this goal, McClintock Practitioner-Scholar Model can be employed. This paper will discuss this model and its application in devising a mechanism that can treat people belonging to different cultural values who have suicidal tendencies and are less likely to be treated with traditional therapies. The effectiveness of the McClintock Practitioner-Scholar Model for achieving this goal will also be analyzed in the paper.
Role as a Multicultural Practitioner-Scholar
Lack of innovation often leads to stagnation of intellectual growth and reduces the chances of professional excellence. The majority of the academic fields suffer from this problem. To overcome this issue, McClintock proposed a practitioner-scholar model that professionals of different academic fields such as psychology, social work, and law can avoid the stagnation of the knowledge base (McClintock, 2003). This model proposes a mechanism that bridges the gap between theory and practice. McClintock proposed that a scholar should strive to find new and more effective ways of solving problems to achieve professional excellence. As a psychotherapist, I envision employing McClintock practitioner-scholar model to realize the dream of treating people having extreme tendencies for suicide and who are less likely to be treated with traditional therapies due to cultural difference.
What is McClintock Practitioner-Scholar Model?
McClintock is credited with developing a practitioner-scholar model that can be employed by academicians of different fields such as social work, law, and psychology to achieve professional excellence. McClintock explained different mechanisms that can be used to attain this goal. The ultimate purpose of practitioner-scholar is to learn new ways of problem-solving by integrating theory with practice and devising a collaborative network with other field experts (McClintock, 2003). According to McClintock, a practitioner-scholar is motivated for skilled commitment, ethical values, and public good while taking the issue of diversity into account. A practitioner-scholar with these motivations strives to create new knowledge and expertise in a particular field.
Another important aspect of practitioner-scholar is the utilization of field experience in research-based findings (McClintock, 2003). For example, in psychology, a practitioner-scholar integrates research with practice using experimental knowledge. With this approach, a practitioner-scholar can develop new theoretical concepts and analyze the effectiveness of different intervention strategies through empirical inquiry. Similarly, with a collaborative approach, a practitioner-scholar can take a holistic overview of the issue and propose an alternative explanation of the problem at hand while devising appropriate strategies for its solution. In other words, a practitioner-scholar becomes an innovator in a particular academic field by opening new ways of problem-solving.
McClintock’s scholar-practitioner model can help me in meeting my vision and goal to help people with mental health issues. I am striving to achieve excellence as a psychotherapist. However, I believe that traditional models can often fail to give desired results as the mental health issues are complicated and involve multicultural and diversity issues. In many cases, therapists fail to sensitize with the clients’ problem due to their inborn biases that hinder the process of treatment. Additionally, there is a lack of innovation in the treatment of many mental health problems. I want to help people who have suicidal tendencies. With McClintock’s scholar-practitioner model, I want to take a collaborative approach and devise new problem-solving techniques while taking a multicultural approach (Cobb et al., 2020). As a therapist, this model can help me gain professional excellence and make me an innovator in this field. I can reduce the gap between theory and practice by integrating science with practice.
Lastly, McClintock’s scholar-practitioner model can help me overcome different biases that often hinder the work of a psychotherapist. In many instances, the lack of sensitivity to the client’s cultural values can render the treatment process useless as the therapist fails to establish a helping relationship with clients. This issue is more pervasive in traditional modes of interventions and is often ignored in therapy for mental health issues. On the contrary, McClintock’s scholar-practitioner model considers the multicultural aspects of the problem and equips the professional to go beyond the narrow understanding of the world by giving a global perspective. Thus by following the multicultural scholar-practitioner model, I can overcome the issue of lack of sensitivity for cultural values of my clients.
I chose to study psychology as a choice and not by chance. This choice was not random but carefully deliberated. One reason behind choosing this subject for study is the kind of personality that I have developed over the years. I was full of compassion and care for others from an early age. For me, people’s sufferings have always moved me to help them. I indulged myself in volunteering to help the needy in the community. However, as I started to explore different professions, I was inspired by the work of psychotherapists who treated people with mental health issues. For me, with the use of psychological theories, the ability of a therapist to heal the deep hidden wounds of people with mental health issues was not only inspiring but captivating. However, during my exploration of this profession, I found that it has many flaws. One of the major shortcomings that I found was the lack of multiculturalism in strategies used to treat mental health issues. Similarly, I also found that a lack of innovation in the treatment method has led to stagnation of intellectual growth in the field.
To bridge these gaps, I envision becoming a therapist who will be free of cultural biases and always willing to innovate to help clients. My vision is to devise new problem-solving techniques by using the available knowledge. In other words, I envision being an innovator in the field of psychology. For this purpose, I plan to collaborate with other experts of the field and strive for professional excellence. I believe that becoming a multicultural psychology practitioner-scholar can help me realize my vision. With the help of this model, I can develop a knowledge base that would give me professional excellence. Similarly, this model will infuse my commitment to ethical values and respect for diversity. I can use this model to collaborate with other experts and find new problem-solving techniques to help people with mental health issues.
I wish to focus on individuals who develop suicidal tendencies due to different reasons such as bullying in the school, racial discrimination, traumatic sexual abuse, and criticism for sexual orientation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the second leading cause of death among individuals aged between 10 and 34 (Weir, 2019). Maintaining mental well-being has emerged as a challenging task in this age of technological advancement and the rise of social media. Sadly, there is a dearth of integration of theory and practice on this issue. This field of study needs an innovative approach. We need to develop an approach that is holistic and sensitive to the needs of people from different backgrounds and cultures. With the use of the multicultural practitioner-scholar model, I envision developing a therapeutic relationship with my clients that is free of the pervasive ills (Cobb et al., 2020). I wish to create a new set of knowledge on this issue. My vision is to increase intellectual capacity while using inquiry to explore new problem-solving techniques. In this regard, the practitioner-scholar model can prove to be the most effective way to realize my vision.
In a nutshell, McClintock’s scholar-practitioner model can become a guiding principle to realize my vision of becoming a psychotherapist having professional excellence. This model will help me overcome cultural biases that often become a hindrance in the way of developing an effective therapeutic relationship with the clients. With the help of this model, I can explore the unexplored field of knowledge. I can have the liberty to innovate and devise new methods of treatment by experimenting with new problem-solving techniques.
McClintock, C. (2003). Scholar Practitioner Model. Encyclopedia of Distributed Learning. doi:10.4135/9781412950596.n134
Cobb, C. L., Lilienfeld, S. O., Schwartz, S. J., Frisby, C., & Sanders, G. L. (2020). Rethinking Multiculturalism: Toward a Balanced Approach. The American Journal of Psychology, 133(3), 275–293. https://doi.org/10.5406/amerjpsyc.133.3.0275
Botstein, L. (1972). Viewpoint: What Is Innovation, Really? Change, 4(3), 14–70. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40161426
Cunningham, B., Riverstone, L., & Roberts, S. (2005). Scholars, Teachers, Practitioners, and Students: Learning by Fishing, Storytelling, and Appreciative Inquiry. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 11(1), 45–52. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40215681
Weir, K. (2019, March). Worrying trends in U.S. suicide rates. Retrieved December 31, 2021, from https://www.apa.org/monitor/2019/03/trends-suicide