Mar. 26 — 29, 2020 9:00:00 AM - 5:00:00 PM
NZCCP 31st National Conference
“Tui, tui, tui, tuia” "Bind, join, be united as one"
Psychology: Foundations and Integration
Preconference workshop with Gregg Henriques: "Toward a unifying meta-paradigm for the science and practice of psychology" - This two-day workshop will introduce participants to an emerging meta-theory that potentially offers clinical psychologists a way to effectively and coherently frame the science of psychology and the practice of psychotherapy. Day 1 will focus on the “unified theory” of psychology. It will begin with a brief history of the field and explain the “problem of psychology”, which refers to the fact that the field resists effective definition and instead exists in a state of fragmented pluralism. With the problem formulated, the outline of the solution will be provided. It starts with separating the language game of science (i.e., the attempt to objectively describe reality in a way that is as “knower independent” possible) from the language of humanistic concerns (which embraces both unique, subjective experience and intersubjective moral values about what ought to be). With this division made, the Tree of Knowledge System will be introduced. Similar to E. O. Wilson’s consilience and the Big History movement, it affords scholars a new, big picture, scientific worldview. However, unlike those visions, it offers a new conception of behavioral complexity that sets the stage for effectively defining the science of psychology. With the big picture framed by the ToK System, the workshop will then introduce the three other ideas that together form the structural outline of the unified theory of psychology (Henriques, 2011). First, Behavioral Investment Theory organizes the insights from evolutionary psychology and the cognitive, behavioral, and developmental neurosciences to allow for a general theory of animal behavior. Second, Justification System Theory will be introduced, which provides a framework for understanding the evolution of language, self-consciousness, and human culture. Third, the Influence Matrix, which maps human social motivation and emotion in the relational world, will be introduced in a way that connects the other ideas. These three ideas will then put together to offer a dynamic map of “justification, investment and influence” that provides a new lens for understanding human behavior at the individual and interpersonal levels of analysis.
The second day will begin by identifying the core concerns of psychotherapy as being different from the core concerns of a science of psychology. Here the humanistic concerns of unique, idiographic experience and moral values play a key role in framing the activity. The task of psychotherapy is to be informed by the science of psychology in a way that reduces human suffering and maladaptive patterns and reverses them toward adaptive flourishing. After the scientific humanistic psychotherapy framework is outlined, the workshop will introduce Character Adaptation Systems Theory and the Nested Model of Well-being as ways that build bridges between the science of human psychology and the analysis of the unique particular individual. The outline of a Well-being Checkup System will be offered and it will be shown how it results in a comprehensive conceptualization for adults in individual psychotherapy. Finally, an integrative approach to psychological mindfulness called CALM MO will be introduced to provide practitioners a basic frame of the evidence-based principles and processes that tend to reverse problematic cycles and turn them toward more adaptive flourishing.
Dr. Gregg Henriques is Professor of Graduate Psychology at James Madison University in the APA-accredited Combined-Integrated Doctoral Program in Clinical-School Psychology, where he formerly served as program director for twelve years. Dr. Henriques received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Vermont and did his post-doctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania, working with Dr. Aaron T. Beck. Dr. Henriques’ primary area of scholarly interest is in developing a unified paradigm for the science and practice of psychology. He has authored the book, A New Unified Theory of Psychology. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, won numerous awards for teaching and service, and has published dozens of articles in leading academic journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association, American Psychologist, and Review of General Psychology. He has a popular blog on Psychology Today, Theory of Knowledge, where he has authored over 350 essays on psychology, philosophy, politics and mental health. He launched and leads the Theory of Knowledge academic society. He teaches doctoral courses on psychotherapy integration, personality theory, social psychology, cognitive psychology, and engages in clinical supervision. He also studies character and well-being and is working to develop a more unified approach to psychotherapy. He is a licensed clinical psychologist in Virginia.
Gregg Henriques: Combined, integrated, unified: Toward a more coherent clinical psychology in the 21st century - Clinical psychologists face a bewildering landscape of complexity in carrying out their professional work. On the one hand, clinical psychologists’ are required to be anchored to science, such that professionals are obliged in engage in “evidence-based” practice. However, scientific knowledge about human psychology, psychopathology, and psychotherapy is disorganized and chaotic, and consists of multiple and often competing paradigms (e.g., bio-medical, psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, emotion-focused, family systems, and cultural viewpoints). Moreover, much of the primary work of the professional is defined by extra-scientific or humanistic concerns. For example, the fundamental purpose of professional activity is to effect change via improving the well-being of the client. This means that it is a value-laden exercise that cannot be determined by the empirical methods of science alone. In addition, each assessment and therapeutic encounter involves a “unique particular” set of circumstances manifesting in real clinical situations between real individuals or groups in real cultural contexts. Given the massive complexity of these operating conditions, it is little wonder that clinical psychology is fragmented. Despite the difficulties, a new “integrative pluralistic” vision for the professional psychologist is emerging. This talk will review how a “combined-integrated” doctoral training program in the US has been developed that effectively weaves together a scientific humanistic framework that: (a) “combines” across the practice areas of clinical, counseling, and child-family-school psychology; (b) “integrates” across the different levels of analysis (physical, biological, psychological, and social) and the major intervention paradigms (humanistic, psychodynamic, CBT and systems); and (c) is grounded in a broad “unified” definition of psychology that clearly defines the science in relationship to and as separate from the practice.
Sonja Macfarlane: Enabling a ‘lens change’: Adopting unifying, bicultural-partnership approaches in psychology - Culturally responsive and inclusive psychology must surely be the pinnacle of best practice for psychologists who are working with tamariki, rangatahi and whānau in Aotearoa New Zealand. A range of key questions are regularly reflected on as we search for the most appropriate and responsive epistemological framework(s), strategies and approaches to ensuring that those with whom we work are able to feel a sense of affirmation, connectedness and belonging: What key concepts and values need to underpin and guide thought and action? What paradigms and approaches are more meaningful and relevant? What cultural variables contribute to how tamariki and whānau may think, feel and behave? How do our paradigms and approaches affirm language, culture, identity and wellbeing? In this presentation, a kaupapa Māori lens will be drawn on to unpack some of these questions, as well as to query and critique conventional theoretical perspectives and approaches. A unified repositioning will then be proposed by way of a braided and blended treaty-based framework to guide and inform thinking and theorising. A scaffolded framework – He Poutama Whakamana – will also be shared to promote practice that affirms language, culture, identity and wellbeing.
Dr Sonja Macfarlane (Ngāi Tahu; Ngāti Waewae) is a Pouhikiahurea (Practice and Implementation Adviser: Māori Focus) at the Ministry of Education based in Hamilton. Until mid-2019, she was an Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Canterbury (UC). The focus of her research and writing is on culturally responsive evidence-based approaches in education, psychology, and counselling. Her work has been widely published in leading research journals, both nationally and internationally. In 2017, Sonja received New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) Tohu Pae Tawhiti Award for her contributions to Māori research over many years. In 2017, she was the member of a team that received the UC College of Education, Health and Human Development Research Team Award. In 2015, she was a co-recipient of the CLNZ Education Award “Best Resource in Higher Education”, and in 2014 received a UC Research Excellence Award. In 2019, Sonja was made a Fellow of the New Zealand Psychological Society for her contributions to the discipline, as is an advisory member on several ministerial-funded projects.
Zeenah Adam: One year on: Reflections on responses to March 15th - The March 15th terror attacks in Christchurch were an unprecedented trauma event in New Zealand's history. Psychologists were among the many individuals and organisations responding. While the initial shock has subsided, an attack of this magnitude has left in its wake complex layers of need and the ongoing emergence of secondary stressors. One year on, we reflect on the diverse responses across systemic, community, and individual levels: the challenges faced, the lessons learned, and examples of resilience and psychological resources the affected communities are drawing on. Some of these include the role of faith, wraparound community supports and grassroots community initiatives, conversations about racism and inclusivity, and culturally adapted mental health interventions.
Zeenah Adam is a registered clinical psychologist and neuropsychologist based in Wellington. She has been actively involved in the post-March relief effort in Christchurch over the past 11 months, working closely with other psychologists and the Canterbury health system in the provision of advisory services and support initiatives for the affected community, and enhancing access to appropriate mental healthcare. Having also completed a Master's in Cross-Cultural Psychology, she has a particular interest in multiculturalism and cross-cultural clinical practice. She also provides clinical and neuropsychological services with ACC clients as well as offering resilience-building initiatives with the wider Muslim community
Tony Ward: Why theory matters in correctional psychology - Effective and ethical psychological practice relies on good science, and good science takes theory construction very seriously, as seriously as data collection. There is little point in developing valid research designs and sophisticated data analytic techniques if the ideas driving research are mistaken or trivial. In this paper I explore the problem of theoretical illiteracy for correctional psychological research and practice. First, I discuss why theory is important in science and the dangers of ignoring it. Second, I review the role of theory in addressing the myriad of practical problems facing human beings. Third, I outline three strategies to increase researchers' and practitioners’ appreciation of theory construction and development: adopting a more comprehensive model of scientific method, epistemic iteration, and promoting model pluralism. Fourth, I take an example of a core concept from correctional psychology, that of dynamic risk factors, and demonstrate how the above strategies can be used to rectify problems with this construct. Finally, I discuss the research, practice and normative implications of my approach to addressing theoretical illiteracy.
Professor Tony Ward, PhD, DSipClinPsyc FRSNZ is a Professor of Clinical Psychology at Victoria University of Wellington and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Tony has taught clinical and forensic psychology at the Universities of Melbourne, Canterbury, and Deakin. His current research projects include: (a) explanation and inquiry in research and practice. This includes the nature of psychopathology and crime related problems such as protective and dynamic risk factors ; (b) normative issues in clinical practice; and (c) change processes in the psychopathology and forensic/correctional domains.
Brian Haig: Moving (clinical) psychology forward by revisiting Paul Meehl - By any measure, Paul Meehl (1920-2003) was a towering figure in twentieth century psychology. As a general psychologist, he made significant contributions to psychological theory, research methodology, and philosophy of science. However, he considered himself first, and foremost, a clinical psychologist. Despite his seminal contributions to this field, his work remains underappreciated. At a time when psychology and its subdisciplines are said to be in the midst of a credibility crisis, it is worth revisiting some of Meehl’s important contributions to clinical psychology. In this talk I will focus primarily on Meehl’s examination of the slow progress of “soft” psychology, which he took to include clinical psychology. I will also address some of his enduring concerns about the well-being of the profession of clinical psychology. Along the way, I’ll consider some of Meehl’s suggestions for improving the quality of clinical psychological research, and discuss a number of his recommendations for increasing the rigour of clinical psychological practice. In many respects, Meehl anticipated developments that are at the forefront of current reform proposals in general and clinical psychology.
Brian Haig is Professor Emeritus in the School of Psychology, Speech and Hearing at the University of Canterbury. He has published numerous articles on the conceptual foundations of behavioural science research methods, and the nature of psychological science more generally. His research includes work on theories of scientific method, the philosophy of quantitative methods, and methods reform in the behavioural sciences. Professor Haig is also the author of several books: Investigating the psychological world (MIT Press, 2014), The philosophy of quantitative methods (Oxford University Press, 2018), Method matters in psychology (Springer, 2018), and co-author of Realist inquiry in social science (Sage, 2016). He is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, and the New Zealand Psychological Society. He was awarded the C. J. Adcock Award in 2006 for his contributions to theoretical and philosophical psychology.
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