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


Book Chapter on Social Justice in Counseling and Psychotherapy

praeger-sj-coverNew chapter in forthcoming volume, The Praeger Handbook of Social Justice and Psychology

From the introduction:

At a surface level, this call for psychotherapists to take up the mantle of social justice sounds wonderful. However, while everyone may be for social justice in the abstract, making it central to applied psychology and professional counseling raises a number of thorny issues that have not been adequately addressed. Defining, implementing, and grappling with the ethical implications of a social justice orientation is a more nuanced and complex task than its adherents often acknowledge. This chapter critically examines the move toward social justice in psychotherapy and counseling.

Full reference:

Raskin, J. D. (2014). A critical look at social justice ideology in counseling and psychotherapy. In C. V. Johnson, H. L. Friedman (Series Eds.), The Praeger handbook of social justice and psychology: Vol. 1. Fundamental issues and special populations (C. V. Johnson, H. L. Friedman, J. Diaz, Z. Franco, & B. K. Nastasi, Eds., pp. 51-64). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

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.


Thinking, Feeling, and “Being Human”

New article published:

Raskin, J. D. (2013). Thinking, feeling, and Being Human. Journal of Constructivist Psychology26(3), 181-186. doi: 10.1080/10720537.2013.787323



In his recent book, Being Human: Human Being, Rue Cromwell introduced valence tags into the lexicon of personal construct psychology. Doing so has interesting implications for the distinction between cognition and emotion. The personal construct psychology position, which challenges the division of experience into thinking and feeling, is noted. Three questions are posed for Cromwell’s consideration. What is the relationship between valence tags and constructs? Is the thinking–feeling distinction worth retaining? How should emotion be defined?