Science and Pseudoscience in Clinical Psychology  book cover
2nd Edition

Science and Pseudoscience in Clinical Psychology

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ISBN 9781462517893
Published November 18, 2014 by Guilford Press
548 Pages


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Book Description

This valued resource helps practitioners and students evaluate the merits of popular yet controversial practices in clinical psychology and allied fields, and base treatment decisions on the best available research. Leading authorities review widely used therapies for a range of child, adolescent, and adult disorders, differentiating between those that can stand up to the rigors of science and those that cannot. Questionable assessment and diagnostic techniques and self-help models are also examined. The volume provides essential skills for thinking critically as a practitioner, evaluating the validity of scientific claims, and steering clear of treatments that are ineffective or even harmful.

New to This Edition
*Reflects the significant growth of evidence-based practices in the last decade.
*Updated throughout with the latest treatment research.
*Chapter on attachment therapy.
*Chapter on controversial interventions for child and adolescent antisocial behavior.
*Addresses changes in DSM-5.

Table of Contents

1. Science and Pseudoscience in Clinical Psychology: Initial Thoughts, Reflections, and Considerations, Scott O. Lilienfeld, Steven Jay Lynn, & Jeffrey M. Lohr
I. Controversies in Assessment and Diagnosis
2. Understanding Why Some Clinicians Use Pseudoscientific Methods: Findings from Research on Clinical Judgment, Howard N. Garb & Patricia A. Boyle
3. Controversial and Questionable Assessment Techniques, John Hunsley, Catherine M. Lee, James M. Wood, & Whitney Taylor
4. The Science and Pseudoscience of Expert Testimony, Joseph T. McCann, Steven Jay Lynn, Scott O. Lilienfeld, Kelley L. Shindler, & Tammy R. Hammond
5. Dissociative Identity Disorder: A Contemporary Scientific Perspective, Scott O. Lilienfeld & Steven Jay Lynn
II. Overarching Controversies in Psychological Treatment
6. The Science of Psychotherapy: Developing, Testing, and Promoting Evidence-Based Treatments, Brandon A. Gaudiano, Kristy L. Dalrymple, Lauren M. Weinstock, & Jeffrey M. Lohr
7. New Age and Related Novel Unsupported Therapies in Mental Health Practice, Monica Pignotti & Bruce A. Thyer
8. The Remembrance of Things Past: Problematic Memory Recovery Techniques in Psychotherapy, Steven Jay Lynn, Elisa Krackow, Elizabeth F. Loftus, Timothy G. Locke, & Scott O. Lilienfeld
9. Self-Help Therapy: Recent Developments in the Science and Business of Giving Psychology Away, Gerald M. Rosen, Russell E. Glasgow, Timothy E. Moore, & Manuel Barrera Jr.
III. Controversies in the Treatment of Adult Disorders
10. Science- and Non-Science-Based Treatments for Trauma-Related Stress Disorders, Jeffrey M. Lohr, Richard Gist, Brett Deacon, Grant J. Devilly, & Tracey Varker
11. Controversial Treatments for Alcohol Use Disorders, James MacKillop & Joshua Gray
12. Herbal Treatments and Antidepressant Medication: Similar Data, Divergent Conclusions, Harald Walach & Irving Kirsch
IV. Controversies in the Treatment of Child and Adolescent Disorders
13. Empirically Supported, Promising, and Unsupported Treatments for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Daniel A. Waschbusch & James G. Waxmonsky
14. The Status of Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Weak Relationship of Science to Interventions, Raymond G. Romanczyk, Laura B. Turner, Melina Sevlever, & Jennifer M. Gillis
15. Attachment Therapy, Jean Mercer
16. Antisocial Behavior of Children and Adolescents: Harmful Treatments, Effective Interventions, and Novel Strategies, Anthony Petrosino, Pamela MacDougall, Meghan E. Hollis-Peel, Trevor A. Fronius, & Sarah Guckenberg
Conclusions and Future Directions
17. Science and Pseudoscience in Clinical Psychology: Concluding Thoughts and Constructive Remedies, Scott O. Lilienfeld, Steven Jay Lynn, & Jeffrey M. Lohr

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Scott O. Lilienfeld, PhD, until his death in 2020, was a Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Psychology at Emory University. He was Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Psychological Science and Associate Editor of Archives of Scientific Psychology, and served on the editorial boards of several other journals. Among Dr. Lilienfeld’s principal interests were cognitive biases and their relations to personality and psychopathology, scientific thinking and its application to psychology, the causes and assessment of personality disorders (especially psychopathic and narcissistic personality disorders), psychiatric classification and diagnosis, pseudoscience and clinical psychology, evidence-based clinical practice, and the philosophy of science and psychology. He was a recipient of the James McKeen Cattell Award for Distinguished Achievements in Applied Psychological Science from the Association for Psychological Science and served as president of the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology and the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy.

Steven Jay Lynn, PhD, ABPP, is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Binghamton University, State University of New York (SUNY), where he is Director of the Psychological Clinic. He has published more than 300 articles, books, and book chapters on topics including psychotherapy, hypnosis, science versus pseudoscience, psychopathology, and memory, and his research is widely cited in the media. Dr. Lynn is Founding Editor and Editor of the American Psychological Association journal Psychology of Consciousness. He is a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities.

Jeffrey M. Lohr, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, where he has been on the faculty since 1975. His research interests include affective processes in anxiety and related disorders and pseudoscience in applied and clinical psychology. In the latter domain, he focuses primarily on the empirical analysis of treatment efficacy and the promotion of "fringe" treatments, especially as they relate to trauma and anxiety disorders. Dr. Lohr is Associate Editor of The Behavior Therapist.


"In an age when everyone in clinical psychology claims that their practices are based on scientific evidence, it is imperative that we know what scientific evidence means and how to use it--but that task is not always as easy as it may seem. The second edition of this stunningly good book walks us through the major controversies in our field and methodically discerns fact from myth. Thoroughly updated throughout, and with new chapters on attachment therapies and questionable treatments for childhood and adolescent antisocial behaviors, this book should be required reading for every student of clinical psychology."--David H. Barlow, PhD, ABPP, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Psychiatry and Founder, Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, Boston University

"Using controversies in diagnosis, assessment, and treatment with adults, adolescents, and children as an organizing structure, this book addresses the state of the science in psychotherapeutic practices across diagnostic categories and populations of interest. Without defensiveness or agenda, the contributors take on the disconnect between those who conduct therapy in ways rooted in questionable logic and idiosyncratic intuitions and those who strive to honor the basic ideas of research-based applications and scientific thinking. They also promote awareness of common cognitive biases and intellectual errors that even the most skeptical of us frequently fall prey to. In a world screaming for trustworthy evidence to inform professional practice, this book busts myths and feeds intellectual humility. At the same time, it provides accurate, solid, satisfying answers about what we really know--and don't know--right now."--Kia J. Bentley, PhD, LCSW, School of Social Work, Virginia Commonwealth University

“This book, which details the sloppy thinking that results in some mental health professionals adopting invalid assessment and intervention approaches, will be valuable for students, practitioners, and educators. Readers will become more critical consumers of what is offered as science-based mental health practice. Educators will find the volume helpful with respect to teaching the scientific method and critical thinking skills to their students.”--Randy K. Otto, PhD, ABPP, Department of Mental Health Law and Policy, University of South Florida

"An important book. There is an increasing emphasis on 'evidence-based' assessment and therapy, but science can be used either substantively or rhetorically--this book does an excellent job of distinguishing the two in a clinically relevant way. Those who sell illegitimate pseudoscientific therapies to people in distress violate the moral imperative of 'first do no harm.' The updated second edition captures the key current controversies and has a roster of impressive chapter authors. A 'must read' for behavioral health professionals."--William O'Donohue, PhD, Department of Psychology and Director, Victims of Crime Treatment Center, University of Nevada, Reno

"Courageously confronting myths and misinterpretations in a wide range of clinical psychology practices, this second edition conveys important knowledge in a very readable format. In addition to expert updates on existing chapters, there are several new chapters that I find particularly valuable. The chapter on attachment therapy provides much-needed corrections to dangerous misunderstandings, and the chapter on the science of psychotherapy has been largely rewritten, making powerful new points. This is essential reading for all practitioners and students."--Sherryl H. Goodman, PhD, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Psychology, Emory University; Editor, Journal of Abnormal Psychology
-A needed text that can be a valuable asset to students, practitioners, and academics alike. There is an ongoing need to be committed to the scientist-practitioner model and to not be influenced by unsupportable and unproven public opinion and pop-psychological beliefs. This book continues to be instructive in these areas. It is essential reading for any graduate program in clinical psychology dealing with psychotherapy….It is well-priced, containing current research on what is and isn't empirically validated. It will make selection of a specific therapeutic procedure a more thoughtful and helpful process.--Child and Family Behavior Therapy, 10/3/2016ƒƒ_x000D_This is clearly a text that should be read by every social worker and social work student. Further, it should be mandated reading for anyone who holds a position in a mental health professional association, state licensing board, or national accrediting body....An important contribution to the mental health knowledge base. (on the first edition)--Journal of Social Work Education, 4/7/2014ƒƒ_x000D_While the contributors offer compelling and balanced criticisms of these techniques on scientific grounds, the true merit of the text is that it takes preliminary steps to understand why pseudoscience exists and persists in the 21st century....I would highly recommend it for practitioners, clinical researchers, and graduate students in clinical psychology, social work, or counseling. (on the first edition)--Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 4/7/2014ƒƒ_x000D_Represents a most welcome attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff in mental health practices. This engaging, incisive, and illuminating book should be widely read by mental health professionals and trainees and by physicians needing to refer patients for mental health care. (on the first edition)--Journal of the American Medical Association, 4/7/2014ƒƒ_x000D_Science and Pseudoscience in Clinical Psychology exposes the reader to key issues of an expanding mental health machinery, offering both keen critical examinations and viable solutions. The text is a must read for students and professionals in the field of mental health and for laypersons who aspire to become educated consumers of services. Its content is filled with data and thus represents a helpful starting point for any person who is interested in understanding the difference between mental health practices driven by science and those that rely on pseudoscience (e.g., intuition-based, uncritical, and accepting). The text also offers not only an illustration of pseudoscientific practices, but also advice and guidance on available remedies.--Metapsychology Online Reviews, 7/7/2015