My Future of Mental Health Interview

RaskinThe Future of Mental Health virtual conference starts today, February 23, 2015. It’s free and runs all week. Video interviews with 15 great experts from around the world, including me!

The Future of Mental Health

with Dr. Eric Maisel + 15 Experts / February 23-27, 2015

There isn’t just one way to think about mental health. Today adults and children in distress are presented with a single picture: that they have some “mental disorder” requiring “medical treatment.” In this groundbreaking symposium, top experts from around the world challenge this paradigm, present alternatives, and provide you with the tools you need to live a healthier life. Learn about this mental health revolution from its front-line leaders!

Plenary Address at Personal Construct Congress

I will be giving a plenary address at the 20th International Congress on Personal Construct Psychology in Sydney, Australia. The title of the address is “Beyond Relativism and ‘Anything Goes’: A PCP-based Constructivist Model of Ethical Meaning-Making.”


Critics say that constructivism embraces an “anything goes” ethics that permits any position. I disagree.  In my understanding of constructivism, ethics is unavoidable because people are always embedded in ethical perspectives that infuse everything they do. “Anything goes” is never an option, even if what goes varies by person. This talk is divided into three parts. First, I’ll distinguish three versions of constructivism and distinguish epistemological versus ontological modes of construing. Second, I’ll summarize and counter criticisms that portray constructivism as endorsing “anything goes” relativism. Third, I’ll outline a constructivist model of ethical meaning-making.


Appointment as Associate at Taos Institute

I have been appointed as an associate at the Taos Institute, “a small community designed to extend social constructionist dialogues into diverse practical settings. Taos has sponsored a range of conferences, offered diverse workshops, developed a publishing wing, organized a Ph.D. program, established communication networks, and more” (Kenneth Gergen, personal communication).

I look forward to serving as an associate and engaging in dialogue about links between social constructionism and constructivism, both of which place human meaning-making at the forefront of understanding people.

Appointment as Co-Chair of Diagnostic Summit Committee

Frank Farley and Jon Raskin have been named the new co-chairs of the Society for Humanistic Psychology‘s Open Letter Committee, which is being renamed the Diagnostic Summit Committee. Dave Elkins was the previous chair. The other committee members remain the same:  Donna Rockwell, Brent Robbins, and Sarah Kamens.  Krishna Kumar is a new member of committee, while graduate student Erin Cosby is joining as a consulting member.

This is the “DSM-5 Committee” that was successful during the past year in raising concerns about the proposed DSM-5.  The committee’s petition website attracted more than 14,000 signatories and more than 50 mental health groups and organizations, as well as helping create a firestorm that was covered by major media around the world.  The revised committee will be focusing on the International Summit on Diagnostic Alternatives, tentatively planned for 2013.  Jon and Frank are chairing this summit, as well as the entire Open Letter Committee.  Representatives from all major mental health associations will be invited to the summit to discuss the feasibility of developing an alternative diagnostic system.  For more information about the summit, which is still in planning stages, please contact Frank or Jon.