Understanding research is critical to our work as therapists.
I was trained in a scientist-practitioner model in graduate school. Essentially that means that I was trained first and foremost to understand, create, and implement research. Secondarily I was also trained as a clinician. Ironically, and due to a number of life factors that are best discussed over a cup of coffee, I chose the path of clinician. And now over a decade later, I have been fortunate enough to develop a thriving private practice where I have worked with hundreds of clients as they embark on real, life-altering changes.
During my time as a clinician, I have always valued the gift of research in informing my clinical practice. For example, I use principles of neurological research, such as the concept of neuroplasticity, to explain to my clients how cognitive and behavioral changes actually work. I use research-based treatment modalities like Interpersonal Psychotherapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help my clients recover from Binge Eating Disorder. I rely on data about the impact of weight bias on mental and physical health outcomes to talk to family members, physicians, personal trainers and others who may unintentionally be stigmatizing people with obesity.
No matter how you slice it, the use of research-informed practice is fundamental to sound clinical practice. I believe in it so thoroughly that I even wrote a column in the DC Psychological Association newsletter promoting important research in my field (see image below). When you work with us at DC Health Psychology, you can be sure that we are reading the science, understanding the science, and using the science to inform your best treatment path forward.