Huber 3.1 Top of Form The research-practice disconnect addresses the problem of separation of counseling research and the practice of counselors. Once a sustained boundary between two separate facets, the gap has started closing because of the significant need for a research and practice merge. The disconnect is realized in Erford’s seven reasons why outcome research has been criticized. (2015, p. 66-67) Ultimately, the issue is between the individual and the group they may fall in. Of course everyone is their own individual, not a number. But this criticism is convoluted and misunderstood. Research seeks to find the most reliable and valid path for the clients’ individual needs. This means these procedures and tactics have worked for other individuals with the same types of problems. Over time, counselors and researchers alike have realized that the significant findings in research, along with the individual work of counselors, can help decipher the vast majority of clients and cases. Yet some worry that the empathetic care that comes with helping those clients and cases will be lost in the flood of data. By integrating the commitment to research into mental health practice, the problem of previous research-practice disconnect has already started to solve itself. Counselors are given the advantage of looking at mental health on a broader scale. They don’t just see the individual, but humans as a whole. Even in The Sociological Spirit, a book that breaks down the fundamental nature of sociology, starts with the individual’s identity. (Babbie, 1994) The identity is multifaceted on its own, but the sociology book gives an overarching statement that the actions of individuals make up the larger picture. Counselors have an advantage when they can see that larger picture, and where an individual is placed in it. It helps the mental health field assess the best tactics to help those who suffer, because they can account for what works or does not work for a client. We have data that is reliable and replicable because of the research-practice merging. This scholarly advantage gives counselors a genuine interest because it provides more valid hope for their clients, and an informed general population as a whole.]]>
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