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Bridging between basic theory and clinical practice
Behaviour Research and Therapy, 42(9), 977-1000
Year of publication:
This paper articulates and discusses the parts played by different processes and representations in the overall conduct of applied clinical science. It distinguishes two sorts of representation, theories in the science base and bridging representations needed to map from real world behaviour to basic theory and from theory back to the real world. It is then argued that macro-theories of the "normal" human mental architecture could help synthesise basic theoretical accounts of diverse psychopathologies, without recourse to special purpose clinical-cognitive theories of particular psychopathologies or even specific symptoms. Using the Interacting Cognitive Subsystems model (Teasdale & Barnard, 1993), some specific macro-theoretic variables are identified. Concrete illustrations are given of how the essence of quite complex basic theory can be translated into a simpler representational format to help clinicians conceptualise a psychopathological state and pinpoint relevant variables that might be changed by therapeutic interventions. Some suggestions are also offered about how the inevitable problem of complexity in multiple component theories might be directly confronted.