The High Plains Society
Applied Anthropology

Clinical Anthropology: Applied Participant Observation and the Clinical Psychology Research Practitioner Model

Pedro Oliveira

In the field of medical anthropology, intersections between anthropology and mental health are more easily found in the work of psychotherapists and psychiatrists than clinical psychologists. Although clinical psychologists seem just as interested as other applied mental health professions in integrating “culture” into everyday practice, the experimental nature of clinical psychology, and in particular the applications of the Anglo-Saxon research-practitioner model of clinical psychology, seem to relegate ethnography to a secondary position. While other qualitative methodologies are gradually conquering a place in clinical psychology research, ethnography is still reluctantly engaged in the work of clinical psychology researchers. This article is the first of a series of explorations proposed by the author, based on “Community Psychiatry and Clinical Anthropology (Jadhav, 2001). It proposes an idea of clinical anthropology as a particular interaction between the research-practitioner model of clinical psychology and everyday participant observation that can serve both research and practice in clinical psychology and applied medical anthropology.

The Applied Anthropologist, No. 1-2, Vol. 30, 2010, pp 2 - 9

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