1st Edition

Investigating Clinical Psychology Pseudoscience, Fringe Science, and Controversies

Edited By Jonathan N. Stea, Stephen Hupp Copyright 2024
    236 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    236 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Investigating Clinical Psychology takes a deep dive into the field of clinical psychology through the lens of pseudoscience and fringe science. An expert panel of authors honors the role of science in the field while also exploring and guarding against the harms that pseudoscience can cause.

    Clinicians have an ethical duty to provide the best available, evidence-based care. Engaging, accessible, and open-minded in approach, this book outlines the distinction between science and pseudoscience in order to prevent the false, and often quite harmful, effects that pseudoscientific practices can have on patients in need of mental health services. The book covers a variety of topics, including harmful therapies, purple hat therapies, animal-assisted therapies, hypnosis, and energy medicine. Featuring world-renowned voices from health care specialists to skeptics on the outside of the field gazing in, it equips readers with the skills needed to differentiate between pseudoscientific and evidence-based approaches in both study and practice.

    Aligning with many major undergraduate textbooks for easy course integration, Investigating Clinical Psychology is valuable supplemental reading in undergraduate and graduate courses in clinical psychology. It is also a beneficial reference for clinicians in practice, as well as anyone interested in pseudoscience within the mental health sector.


    Timothy Caulfield


    Stephen Hupp

    PART I: Introduction

    1. The Role of Science in Clinical Psychology

    Jonathan N. Stea

    2. Intellectual Humility and Historical Roots in Pseudoscience

    Daniel Machado, Owen Hicks, and David J. A. Dozois

    PART II: Assessment

    3. Dubious Diagnoses

    Blake A. E. Boehme, Andres De Los Reyes, & Gordon J. G. Asmundson

    4. Rorschach Inkblots

    James M. Wood, M. Teresa Nezworski, and Howard N. Garb

    5. Personality Assessment

    Gerald P. Koocher and Yilong Peng

    PART III: Intervention

    6. Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

    Miranda A. L. van Tilburg

    7. Harmful Mental Health Interventions

    Yevgeny Botanov, Alexander J. Williams, John Sakaluk, and Robyn Kilshaw

    8. Energy Medicine

    Jon Guy, Melanie Trecek-King, Ruth Ann Harpur, and Jonathan N. Stea

    9. Purple Hat Therapies

    Eve A. Rosenfeld and Carmen P. McLean

    10. Animal-Assisted Therapies

    Kitti Bessenyei, Igor Yakovenko, Lindsey Snaychuk, and Andrew (Hyounsoo) Kim

    PART IV: Special Topics

    11. Child and Adolescent Psychology

    Jaden Sangoi, Keaira Cox, and Stephen Hupp

    12. Alternative Medicine

    Edzard Ernst

    13. Neuropsychology

    Isabella Hartley and Indre V. Viskontas

    14. Forensic Psychology

    Montana L. Ploe, David K. Marcus, and John F. Edens

    PART V: Conclusion

    15. Science-Based Clinical Psychology

    Stephen Hupp and Vyla Hupp


    Jonathan N. Stea, PhD, RPsych, is a practicing clinical psychologist and adjunct assistant professor at the University of Calgary (UofC) in Canada. He’s a two-time winner of the UofC’s Award for Excellence in Clinical Supervision and the 2022 recipient of the Psychologists’ Association of Alberta’s media and science communication award. His forthcoming book about mental health misinformation and pseudoscience will be published in 2025 by Penguin Random House Canada, Oxford University Press, and Audible.

    Stephen Hupp, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) in the United States. In 2015, he won the Great Teacher Award from the SIUE Alumni Association. He has published several books, including Pseudoscience in Therapy and Science-Based Therapy, and he is the Editor of Skeptical Inquirer: The Magazine for Science and Reason.

    "This excellent book that helps us all better understand and navigate the ever growing world of fads and pseudoscience in the field of psychological therapies.  In my opinion, a must read for all students in the psychological helping professions, their teachers, clinicians and those who make health care policies.  Kudos to the editors and a heartfelt thank you to each of the contributors."

    Hon. Dr. Stanley Kutcher, Professor Emeritis, Department of Psychiatry, Dalhousie University, Canada.