The practice of counseling and psychotherapy is influenced by a number of ideologies, models, and paradigms. Among these, the medical model's influence is particularly salient. The ideology of the medical field pervades the theory, research, and practice of psychology and its influence deserves close examination. The few studies in this area that have been conducted are descriptive and basic in nature. The present study aimed to contribute richness and depth to conversations about medical model influence. By interviewing Counseling Psychology training directors and applying a qualitative analysis, this study provided the following themes that characterize views of the medical model's influence on professional practice: 1. Psychology can't afford to be dogmatic or deny reality, yet must critically examine the influence of the medical model. 2. Counseling Psychology has a lot to offer—so get in the game. 3. The tension between medical model influence and the values of Counseling Psychology has increased. 4. The medical influence on research is a two-edged sword—we need to think complexly about our science. 5. Medical model focus on pathology is reductionistic and restrictive. 6. Preparing students for the "real world" medical influence on practice while trying to teach values of Counseling Psychology is at times a balancing act. 7. Cautious about Prescription Privilege: Are we trying to be physicians or psychologists? It is hoped that finding and reporting the themes that emerged will lead to increased discussion, thinking, consideration, and examination of the model's influence among counseling psychology professionals.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





counseling psychology, psychology, medical model, qualitative, interview, training, training director