Professional Practice out of the Urban Context: Defining Canadian Rural Psychology

By Malone, Judi L. | Canadian Psychology, November 2011 | Go to article overview

Professional Practice out of the Urban Context: Defining Canadian Rural Psychology


Malone, Judi L., Canadian Psychology


There is an often unacknowledged difference between urban and rural practice in psychology which lacks clarity, in part, because of the lack of a common definition of rurality. Rural psychology in Canada presents complex and nuanced aspects of professional practice. The professional and social milieus of rural communities position the practising psychologist within a context that may differ vastly from urban settings. The rural context highlights the need to define this specific practice setting. This paper proposes a tentative definition of rural Canadian professional practice in psychology. This is meant to elucidate the distinct practice, training, and ethical considerations that may be the realities of the psychologists who are in professional practice in rural Canada. Rural professional practice is unique and Canadian training programs are urban-based. Training of future psychologists needs to acknowledge the unique features of rural practice to meet our obligations to students specifically and to rural Canadians generally. This is enhanced with a shared definition of rural professional practice in psychology.

Keywords: professional practice, rurality, professional ethics, Canadian psychology

Communities and peoples differ across contexts and small communities are a vibrant part of the fabric of Canadian society. Small communities can be defined by culture, professional experience, geographical separation, and of course, rurality. In most small communities, providers of psychological services will experience overlapping relationships and difficulties in separating formal and informal community participation (Schank & Skovholt, 2006). Psychology in Canada tends to reflect urban-centricpolicies typical in North America which may not be responsive to the rural context (Jameson & Blank, 2007; Misener et al., 2008). This has implications for the availability of rural-specific formal training, research, and literature. Psychologists need to acknowledge the unique features of rural practice to meet our obligations in training psychologists and for psychology to contribute to rural Canadians generally. This is enhanced with a shared definition of rural professional practice in psychology.

There is a need to define rural practice in its complexity. The literature does not coalesce around a standard definition of rural practice in psychology. Definitions that do exist focus on population and distance. In empirical studies operational definitions ranged from communities of 2500 to under 20000 people or by distance such as 50 kilometres from an urban centre (Bazana, 1999; du Plessis, Beshiri, Bollman, & Clemenson, 2001; Ministry of Rural Affairs, 2000). The defining characteristics of rurality became an issue in a study of medical students in the United Kingdom. In that study, "What is rural?" became an unintended theme of the research (Deaville et al., 2009). Indeed, the authors concluded that degree of rurality, or what is rural, "will mean different things to different people, depending on their background" (Deaville et al., 2009, p. 1165).

A better articulated definition of rural professional practice in psychology is needed but will be difficult to achieve. My collaborations with rural psychologists from across the country have highlighted the variability in rural cultures and communities. How can we compare such diverse rural communities and come up with a suitable definition of rural practice? Can there really be engaged discussion on professional ethics in such a poorly defined context? Although the issues identified for small communities are not exclusive to rural communities, this paper will focus on the needs, practice considerations, and sensitivities specific to rural Canadian communities as these impact professional practice. This is particularly prudent as about 20% of the Canadian population is rural (Barbopoulos & Clark, 2003; Harowski, Turner, LeVine, Schank, & Leichter, 2006). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Professional Practice out of the Urban Context: Defining Canadian Rural Psychology
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.