The possibility of uniting science and practice in psychology is considered. The main aim is to
explore the ability of a realist approach to address the various dichotomies prevalent in psychology.
The multileveled demands of the society, government, and tertiary training are briefly discussed.
The multitude of mental health needs in South African society is addressed by government with a
number of policies and legislative processes. In addition, training of psychologists is under pressure
because of the changing demands within higher education institutions. The pressure to function
as research institutions necessitates a revisioning of the scientist–practitioner model. This model
perpetuates bipolarity because of a scientistic understanding of what it means to be scientific. This
article describes a realist model of science that avoids some of the more serious dichotomies so
prevalent in South African psychology departments, namely, the quantitative–qualitative divide,
the positivist–constructionist split, and possibly also the scientist–practitioner model. A realist
image of science might achieve this integration because of the simple fact that both science and
practice involve critical enquiry. Two examples of a realist psychology from neuropsychology are