Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Theology

Where Do We Want to Be in 10 Years? towards an Integration Strategy for Clinical Psychologists

Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Theology

Where Do We Want to Be in 10 Years? towards an Integration Strategy for Clinical Psychologists

Article excerpt

This paper evaluates the clinical psychology integration system from a strategic perspective. The integration system is defined as a loose organizational body comprised of academic institutions, journals, publishers, educators, clinicians, and students. Next, the SWOT analysis tool is used to understand the integration system's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The chief strength is the integration system's financial model and flexibility that allows it to consolidate resources and gradually grow into other domains. The primary weakness is limited diversity, especially with regards to age and minority representation. Central opportunities include globalization and technology. Threats consist of alternative models of integrating spirituality and psychology that may minimize an authentic Christian voice. Another notable threat includes high tuition costs or what might be more broadly understood as the education bubble. Finally, goals and objectives are outlined that focus on leveraging the integration system's strengths to overcome weaknesses and capitalize on opportunities. Goals primarily focus on making the integration system more diverse and global.

Have you been to an international CAPS meeting lately? I just attended the international meeting in Indianapolis. During the keynote speech, as I looked around, it struck me that what I saw was a sea of older white folks in the audience. There were few young people (under 35) and few minorities present. Dr. Maclin, one of my colleagues here at Regent, echoed this thought. She was co-presenting with an African American student who said, "Dr. Maclin, there are not a lot of people who look like me here." This does not bode well for the future of integration.

When I was first contacted to participate in this project, I started thinking about the integration field from a broader perspective--our past, present, and projected future. I have had plenty of conversations with Gary Collins about our past and have been teaching for almost 10 years, so I have a pretty firm grasp on the present. The future, however, seemed a little hazy. It occurred to me that I had never come across any kind of strategy document or statement that analyzed our field and mapped out where we are heading. There are plenty of people who could do this better than I can, but I figured I would take a shot and evaluate our field through the lens of a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis (Armstrong, 1982).

SWOT Analysis

To begin, let me define a couple of core concepts. One, I'm defining the integration system as a loose organizational body comprised of academic institutions, journals (i.e., Journal of Psychology and Theology), publishers (i.e., InterVarsity Press), educators, clinicians, and students. Two, I am choosing to use a SWOT analysis because it is very simple to understand. SWOT is used to help an organization identify their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats ("SWOT Analysis," n.d.). Strengths and weaknesses are internal and generally focused on the past and present; opportunities and threats are external and generally focused on the present and future (Armstrong, 1982). The aim is to evaluate the integration field on these 4 components and then create objectives to help us leverage our strengths to overcome our weaknesses and capitalize on future opportunities (Armstrong, 1982). Let us get started by evaluating our strengths.

Strengths. Strengths are our capabilities and resources ("SWOT Analysis: n.d.). We have a number of great institutions, strong scholars, aspiring students, committed clinicians and proactive publishing outlets. These strengths provide us with the ability to train clinicians and conduct research on integration. I'd argue that this loose infrastructure in the integration field is our greatest strength. It is a self-sustaining and slowly growing system that enables us to continue to acid to the integration field and also make inroads in new domains (e. …

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