There has been a significant shift regarding how health and illness are conceptualized. In decades past, the biomedical model predominated. Factors other than biological were not seen as important with regard to the diagnosis and treatment of illness; mind and body were viewed as separate. Engel’s 1977 article challenged the biomedical perspective with the biopsychosocial model, suggesting the reciprocal nature of biological, psychological and social factors on patients’ experience of health and illness, and responsiveness to treatment interventions. While viewing individuals holistically was not a new concept at that time, several factors led the biopsychosocial model to gain wide acceptance among health care providers and institutions. The influence of the biopsychosocial model may be seen not only in the way patients’ providers conceptualize health concerns and develop treatment plans, but in the increasing collaboration among professionals from different disciplines in an effort to provide integrated care. Collaboration or a treatment team approach to health care delivery is now commonplace in hospitals and similar institutions. Degree of collaboration and the extent to which responsibilities overlap among different disciplines varies; there are several models of collaboration: multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary. Early career psychologists and trainees (doctoral students completing practicum and internship placements) are presented with the challenges of understanding collaborative care and effectively integrating themselves into treatment teams. Research indicates that there are limited opportunities for health care professionals (of various disciplines) to gain adequate understanding of collaborative care from coursework or practical experiences prior to completing their studies. This project proposes a two-pronged approach to preparing mental health professionals to work in collaborative care. The first component recommends acquisition of knowledge regarding the team approach, including an understanding the historical context of the biopsychosocial model and collaborative health care, and development of an understanding of the educational requirements, roles and responsibilities of professionals often represented on treatment teams. The second component is the effective integration of early career professionals and trainees into teams, which requires the active engagement of trainees, their supervisors and training sites.

LLU Discipline





School of Behavioral Health

First Advisor

Arechiga, Adam L.

Second Advisor

Vermeersch, David A.

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Mental Illness; Mental Health Services; Mental Disorders; Attitude of Health Personnel; Interprofessional Relations;

Subject - Local

Biopsychosocial Model; Mind and Body; Responsiveness to Treatment Interventions; Holistic Medicine; Multidisciplinary - Interdisciplinary - Transdisciplinary Collaboration


Doctoral Project

Page Count


Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives

Included in

Psychology Commons