What do therapists know about their basic scientific paradigm ….?

Jerry Downing (see reference below) is discussing “Between Conviction and Uncertainty, philosophical Guidelines for Practicing Psychotherapists”. This is a quite complex but important contribution to increased understanding of “what we do” but for many not very easy to read including the time to read and understand, if not used with such scientific language. Therefore I rese a few questions and adding a few notations from Downing

Amongst central issues in clinical assessment, interventions and evaluation are

  • What basic paradigm a clinicians work is in real based on and how this is practiced
  • Particularly a clinicians approach to what is “objective” knowledge/facts/skills/.. and what is subjective or “groupjective“ to s/he and her/his field believes as well as how this basic attitude really is practiced in clinical everyday work
  • What (rigid and dynamic) parameters and procedures are used in assessment, intake,
    • is motivated how
    • potentially giving information about what individual characteristic related to patients problem picture
    • Enabling what predictions of outcome
  • How above is used for
    • the intervention planning (in real, educational cooperation with the patient or not),
    • to identify criteria for intervention modification during the intervention, and
    • final post-assessment (perhaps including more then what thought of in the pre-assessment)
  • How optioned data can be communicated for own used for improvement as well as used for communication with colleagues
  • How the issue of idiographic integrated data treatment and moving up to nomothetical level is prepared for, see. e.g. IBED, Individual Biological Evidence based Documentation

The issues above will be discussed below during Mars 2016

Downing, J.N. (2000). Between Conviction and Uncertainty, philosophical Guidelines for Practicing Psychotherapists. State University of New York Press, will be discussed also during Mars 2016. For now only two quotations;

p 292; “In closing, I urge my colleagues in the field to aim for a psychotherapy which meets the clients need – and ourselves – for meaning and coherence without compromising our responsibilities as reflexive practitioners and moral agents. Current standards of practice cannot prevent therapists from lapsing into views and employing methods which are illusory, self-deceiving, and self-serving. Raining cognizant of our dual nature – a strong need to believe and complementary need to question ourselves radically – may be our best hope for retaining our humanity and integrity as psychotherapists”.

P 25 “… clinicians are discriminating readers who generally read research from the vantage point of his or hers own, usually very personal, clinical experience, embracing research findings that support what he or she already holds true and disregard findings that do not” (quoting p 991, Beutler, L.E., Williams, R.E., Wakefield, P.J., & Entwistle, S.R. (1995). Bridging scientists and practitioners perspective in clinical psychology. American Psychologists, 50, 984-994.

BvS 2016-02-09