•  567
    Know Thyself? Questioning the Theoretical Foundations of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (2): 391-410. 2017.
    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has become the dominant form of psychotherapy in North America. The CBT model is theoretically based on the idea that all external and internal stimuli are filtered through meaning-making, consciously accessible cognitive schemas. The goal of CBT is to identify dysfunctional or maladaptive thoughts and beliefs, and replace them with more adaptive cognitive interpretations. While CBT is clearly effective as a treatment, there is good reason to be skeptical that its ef…Read more
  •  121
    Psychotherapy, placebos, and informed consent
    Journal of Medical Ethics. forthcoming.
    Several authors have recently argued that psychotherapy, as it is commonly practiced, is deceptive and undermines patients’ ability to give informed consent to treatment. This ‘deception’ claim is based on the findings that some, and possibly most, of the ameliorative effects in psychotherapeutic interventions are mediated by therapeutic common factors shared by successful treatments, rather than because of theory-specific techniques. These findings have led to claims that psychotherapy is, at l…Read more
  •  88
    Psychotherapy is effective. Since the 1970’s, meta-analyses, and meta-analyses of meta-analyses, have consistently shown a significant effect size for psychotherapeutic interventions when compared to no treatment or placebo treatments. This effectiveness is normally taken as a sign of the scientific legitimization of clinical psychotherapy. A significant problem, however, is that most psychotherapies appear to be equally effective. This poses a problem for specific psychotherapies: they may work…Read more
  •  62
    In ‘Psychotherapy, Placebos and Informed Consent’, I argued that the minimal standard for informed consent in psychotherapy requires that ‘patients understand that there is currently no consensus about the mechanisms of change in psychotherapy, and that the therapy on offer…is based on disputed theoretical foundations’, and that the dissemination of this information is compatible with the delivery of many theory-specific forms of psychotherapy (including cognitive behavioural therapy [CBT]). I a…Read more