The current implementation status of the Boulder Model
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
Since its inception just over 50 years ago, the Boulder Model has been the dominant training model in clinical psychology. The model has not been without its critics, however, and many commentators claim that it has not been implemented. Indeed, two alternative models of clinical training have emerged. However, many assertions about the Boulder Model's implementation failure are not well founded. This thesis was undertaken in an attempt to evaluate the current implementation status of the model that sought to define the essential character of the discipline of clinical psychology and ensure that the discipline would adapt to future changes in science, technology and society. In this thesis evidence pertaining to many of the Boulder Conference recommendations is critically reviewed. The evaluation of the implementation status of the Boulder Model presented in this thesis covers the following issues: the nature of the clinical graduates produced by the Boulder Model of training, practitioners' consumption and utilisation of research, indications of scientific behaviour among practitioners, clinical psychology's readiness to adapt to future changes in science, technology and society, and a critical appraisal of the nature of the clinical graduates produced by both the professional school and clinical scientist models. Critical attention is also given to the three philosophies of science most relevant for clinical psychology-empiricism, social constructionism and scientific realism-in an effort to clarify the critical role theories of science play in guiding both clinical science and clinical practice. The overall conclusion drawn in this thesis is that the Boulder Model has been implemented, albeit with two significant exceptions. Two possible future clinical training scenarios are depicted and the implications of these scenarios are critically explored. Based on the results of the thesis conclusions, some brief recommendations are made about how clinical psychology could strengthen its commitment to the spirit of the Boulder Model.