Stephen Bacon, Ph.D.

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Introduction:  I have written a number of articles based on my recent book that explore the intersection between constructionism and psychotherapy.  Some have been published, others are in press, and some have yet to be accepted.  Several articles are for the lay reader; the remainder are designed for mental health professionals.  Each section below describes and article and includes a hyperlink to the pdf version.

The Lack of Inherent Power in Techniques and Kahneman’s Model of Denial:  Supporting the Evolution of the Psychotherapy Paradigm.  The debate between the common factor theorists and the medical model adherents over the inherent power of psychotherapy techniques appears to have been resolved in favor of common factors.  These results, however, have failed to filter into psychotherapy practice; books and workshops continue to teach techniques and the credibility of psychotherapy’s privileged knowledge goes unchallenged.  This article focuses on the obstacles to the adoption of the outcome findings.  Using Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow theory of denial, the inability to influence standard assumptions is explained and elucidated. In addition, certain forms of social constructionism are interwoven with Kahneman’s approach to better articulate a replacement paradigm. Finally, Kahneman’s recommendations for facilitating paradigm shifts are adapted to the no inherent power of techniques finding.  More specifically, his model of old paradigm, disconfirming data, new paradigm, and narratives are explained with detailed examples.  The final section operationalizes the new paradigm; that is, it offers concrete examples of how therapy might change using the new paradigm.  To see the full article, click here. 

Implications of the “Kill the Buddha” Tradition for Psychotherapy:  Rituals, Charisma, and Constructed RealityThis article examines psychotherapy from the perspective of an iconoclastic spiritual tradition which emphasizes that attachment  to practice tends to make one miss the essence of practice.  It was published in 2018 in the APA journal,  Spirituality in Clinical Practice.  To see the full article, click here. 

Confessions of an Early Adopter:  Practicing Therapy in Constructed Reality:  This article discusses how it feels to be an early adopter of constructionism in terms of working with clients, attending workshops, and cultivating life-long learning.  To see the full article, click here.

How Psychotherapy Actually Works:  This article is written for the lay person and offers numerous examples that demonstrate why techniuqes have no inherent power, the centrality of constructionism, and the implications for the evolution of psychotherapy.  To see the full article, click here. 

Video:  If you prefer to be introduced to this material via a video talk, there is a 20 minute interview with me with Scott Miller and his Top Performance Blog here.  In addition, there is a 20 minute talk I gave at the Taos Institute Conference in 2018 here.


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