New Blog Post: How About a Diagnostic Alternative for Use in Talk Therapy?

New blog post:

Raskin, J. D. (2014, August 18). How about a diagnostic alternative for use in talk therapy? [Blog post]. Retrieved from


ID-100178853In order to devise a diagnostic alternative with widespread appeal, we must:

a) generate a system that is not bound to any particular theoretical orientation other than one that sees all forms of counseling and psychotherapy as means of using conversation and relational engagement to help clients address their presenting concerns;

b) build a system that involves all relevant constituencies and professions in the process of its creation; this means not just involving representatives of the various helping professions, but also guaranteeing a seat at the table for consumers of services and insurers who cover services;

c) include a practical way for clinicians to code concerns that people bring to the consulting room and provide evidence that we can effectively help people with these concerns, so that insurers see what is being offered as empirically-supported and in their financial interest to cover.

Review of “Philosophy’s Role in Counseling and Psychotherapy” in PsycCRITIQUES

I recently published a book review of Peter B. Raabe’s Philosophy’s Role in Counseling and Psychotherapy in PsycCRITIQUES. Here is the full reference:

Raskin, J. D. (in press). Philosophically tilting at psychotherapy’s windmills [Review of the book Philosophy’s role in counseling and psychotherapy, by P. B. Raabe]. PsycCRITIQUES59(30). doi:10.1037/a0036955


New Blog Post: Reclaiming Diagnosis

Photo courtesy Stuart Miles /

New blog post:

Raskin, J. D. (2014, May 20). Reclaiming diagnosis [Blog post]. Retrieved from


. . . the word diagnosis does not technically mean “cause.” Actually, the word has origins in ancient Greek and literally means “to discern or distinguish.” . . . To discern or distinguish something is far broader than presuming to have uncovered its cause.

Discerning or distinguishing is essential to effective counseling and psychotherapy. Without making distinctions and using them to strategize about how to talk to clients and think about their difficulties, psychotherapy is not likely to prove very helpful.

2014 NYMHCA Conference Presentation on Counselor Attitudes Toward DSM-5

I will be presenting a paper coauthored with Dr. Michael Gayle on counselor and psychologist attitudes toward the DSM-5 at the April 11-13 New York Mental Health Counselors Conference in Albany.


Counselors were surveyed regarding their attitudes toward the DSM. Results indicate they see the manual in a somewhat positive light, believing the DSM-5 will benefit their profession. Their attitudes toward DSM were more positive than those held by psychologists. Nonetheless, counselors support seeing alternatives to the DSM developed.


Raskin, J. D., & Gayle, M. C. (2014, April). How much do counselors like the DSM-5? Results of an empirical study. Paper to be presented at the Biennial Convention of the New York Mental Health Counselors Association, Albany, NY.

Reverse Golden Section Article Published

New article published:

Raskin, J. D., & Brett, B. L. (2014). Does the reverse golden section hold? Journal of Constructivist Psychology27(2), 137-146. doi: 10.1080/10720537.2014.879522


Recent research has found support for a reverse golden section hypothesis, whereby people rate stigmatized identities negatively 61.8% of the time and positively 38.2% of the time. Two golden section studies were undertaken. The first replicated a previous study in which a reverse golden section pattern was found for people rating homeless and mental patient identities. The second investigated whether the reverse golden section pattern held when mental health practitioners and trainees rated these same identities. The first study confirmed use of a reverse golden section pattern by nonprofessionals in rating homeless and mental patient identities, whereas the second study found that mental health practitioners and trainees did not use such a pattern.

Personal Construct Psychology, Radical Constructivism, and Social Constructionism: A Dialogue

New article published:

Efran, J. S., McNamee, S., Warren, B., & Raskin, J. D. (2014). Personal construct psychology, radical constructivism, and social constructionism: A dialogueJournal of Constructivist Psychology, 27(1), 1-13. doi: 10.1080/10720537.2014.850367


This article presents a dialogue about personal construct psychology, radical constructivism, and social constructionism. The dialogue is based on a symposium conducted in July 2011 at the 19th International Congress on Personal Construct Psychology. Jay Efran, Sheila McNamee, and Bill Warren were the participants, with Jonathan Raskin as moderator. The dialogue addresses points of contact and divergence across these three theories, how these theories deal with the issue of relativism, and how theorists from these three perspectives might best “go on” together.