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Science and Pseudoscience in Clinical Psychology Hardcover – 20 Feb 2003


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This unique and timely book may avert the advent of the Dark Ages into which the discipline of psychotherapy seems to be heading. By clearly articulating the fundamental differences between 'science' and 'pseudoscience', it forewarns that anecdotes are not evidence, and demonstrates how to separate fact from conjecture. I cannot think of anyone who would not benefit from a thorough perusal of its contents, but it is particularly essential reading for those conducting any form of counseling or psychotherapy. - Arnold A. Lazarus, Rutgers University

About the Author

Scott O. Lilienfeld, PhD, is Associate Professor of Psychology at Emory University, USA

Steven Jay Lynn, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and Professor of Psychology at the State University of New York at Binghamton, USA

Jeffrey M. Lohr, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, USA


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Amazon.com: 12 reviews
41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Well researched, balanced, and provocative 1 Feb 2003
By Eric G. Mart - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This edited volume contains chapters which provide critical analysis of a variety of important subjects in clinical psychology. Lillienfeld et al take a hard look at general issues such as diagnosis and treatment as well as specific issues including New Age treatments for psychological disorders and tests and personality measures. It also examines other subjects such as controversial interventions for ADHD, trauma and autism. The book will spark a great deal of argument and some outrage, since there are a lot of oxen and sacred cows being gored therein. But it is long past time that the yawning chasm between science and clinical practice was addressed, and this volume does an admirable job. I recommend this book to all thoughtful clinicans, as well as general readers with an interest in clinical psychology.
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Well written, but may be missing something. 28 Dec 2006
By Bookworm - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
As a psychologist who is aware of some of the questionable research and clinical practices in psychology I read this book with interest. Many of the chapters were interesting and the criticisms valid. I was disappointed, however, that a book that claims to debunk pseudoscience seemed to have a major blindspot. For example Waschbusch and Hill's chapter examines treatments for ADHD without reference to the controversy that exists about the validity of ADHD as a neurobiological syndrome. There is debate about the unscientific manner in which groups of nonspecifc behaviours are named as syndromes, in the absence of any physical evidence. Discussing treatments for these "disorders" without mentioning this at all seems a glaring oversight in a book that devotes so much attention to issues of diagnosis and assessment and claims to expose pseudosicence. It hardly takes courage or insight to criticise the fringe elements, but what about blatant pseudoscientific practices carried out by mainstream psychologists?
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Clarity 6 Nov 2006
By A. Montgomery - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Although largely aware of the plethora of pseudoscientific nonsence that besets the field of mental health, it is very refreshing to have this collation of information brought together in one volume. As a clinical psycholgist I am confronted daily by people who have been referred to purveyors of unscientific, and often damaging, "interventions". All too frequently, these people have been referred to such snake-oil sellers by mental health professionals - psychologists, psychaitrists, medical doctors etc. This book, and hopefully further editions of it, should be compulsory reading for everyone seeking to work in the mental health and forensic fields. Only by truly embracing scientific methodology and an unremitting scepticism can we hope to move forward in understanding mental health and criminal problems. Our patients, their families, and the public deserve no less.

Alex Montgomery

Clinical Psychologist

Victoria, Australia
35 of 49 people found the following review helpful
A must read 15 Mar 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am finishing my Ph.D. in psychology this year, and this is a definate read for anyone in the field, espececially those who are considering persuing a career in psych. This book has confimed my long-standing fears as a graduate student: That there is much non-science in the field of psych and the profession is openly hostile to those that say so, while at the same time donning the semantically garb of "scientist". The truth is there is very little science in psych these days, and it is psychology's "dirty little secret".
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Lilienfeld has edited a profoundly important a book. Although ... 9 July 2014
By James Claiborn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Lilienfeld has edited a profoundly important a book. Although psychology aspires to the status of a science too many people both within the profession and representing ideas as supposed psychological science are actually proffering pseudo or junk science. Sadly this includes offerings in the area of psychotherapy, psychological assessment, as well as important topics affecting most of society such as memory which is misunderstood and yet the common assumptions may influence legal decisions.
Among other topics the book clearly addresses the problems with professional judgment that to often mislead therapists and others making important decisions. While there is hope for psychology, it will depend on people understanding a scientific approach to understanding. Unfortunately this is all to often missing in professional education.
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