We contribute to a number of trade publications aimed at mental health professionals who work with children, such as psychologists and school counselors.
The Boulder Model advocates an ideal, the integration of the science and practice of clinical psychology. Since its inception in 1949, the model has been widely applied in training programs for mental health professionals. However, once training is completed and psychologists set about applying psychology in real-world settings, the Boulder Model can readily break down on both sides. Clinicians focus on social work, and researchers focus on research, with relatively little communication between the two camps. As a result, most mental health care provided by clinicians in community settings still involves practices that have not been tested in research. Conversely, practices that researchers have tested and found to be beneficial remain primarily in universities and other research settings.
Early in my academic career, I was taught the Boulder model, that ideal of integrating the science and practice of clinical psychology. According to this model, the goal of training is to become a "scientist-practitioner;' a professional equally versed in the research and clinical application of psychology. Through my studies and through the examples set by many of my graduate-school mentors, I repeatedly saw the value of evidence-based practice as well as the benefits of research informed by clinical experience.
Given the tremendous impact of peer relations on children's school functioning, it is crucial that we be best able to identify peer problems when they occur and as early as possible so that interventions can be most effectively applied. Better targeting of those in need of services not only improves effectiveness of interventions, but also utilizes limited school resources (personnel time, money) in the most efficient manner possible.