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?

Problems of Professional Competence Among Counselor Trainees

New article just published:

Counselor Education and Supervision

Rust, J. P., Raskin, J. D., & Hill, M. S. (2013). Problems of professional competence among counselor trainees: Programmatic issues and guidelinesCounselor Education and Supervision, 52(1), 30-42. doi: 10.1002/j.1556-6978.2013.00026.x


Counselor education programs have a responsibility to ensure that individuals are competently trained, demonstrate understanding of ethical guidelines, and are free of observable psychological issues that may affect their ability to provide adequate counseling services. Counselor trainees who do not reach or maintain these professional standards may exhibit problems of professional competence (PPC). This position paper provides a review of the issues related to PPC among counselor trainees. It offers guidelines to counselor education programs for developing PPC policies and procedures. Future directions for research and training practice are discussed.

Ethics Chapter Published

New book chapter on ethics! Read it for free online. Printable electronic copies and hard copies can be purchased from the publisher.

Raskin, J. D., & Debany, A. E. (2012). The inescapability of ethics and the impossibility of “anything goes”: A constructivist model of ethical meaning-making. In S. Cipolletta & E. Gius (Eds.), Ethics in action: Dialogue between knowledge and practice (pp. 13-32). Milan, Italy: LED. Available in PDF format

From the introductory section of the chapter:

“In our 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. After distinguishing three versions of constructivist theory, we briefly summarize and counter various criticisms that portray constructivism as endorsing an ‘anything goes’ relativism. Then we outline a constructivist model of ethical meaning-making.”