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  • Practicing Psychotherapy In Constructed Reality with Stephen Bacon, Ph.D.

Practicing Psychotherapy In Constructed Reality with Stephen Bacon, Ph.D.

  • 17 Nov 2017
  • 5:15 PM - 7:00 PM
  • The Home of Dr. Dean Given
  • 1


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Practicing Psychotherapy In Constructed Reality


One of the most pressing questions confronting Clinical Psychology is whether techniques have inherent power.  Common sense says “yes!” and this assumption is the basis of our research priorities, our training models, and the ongoing search for evidence-based interventions.  Careful review of the therapy outcome literature suggests that there is little support for the assumption of inherent power; more specifically, the lack of training and experience effects, the “dodo bird” conclusion, and a cross-profession, privileged knowledge analysis are more supportive of a “therapy as ritual” explanation.  This provocative finding directly suggests that psychotherapy is operating in constructed reality as opposed to fundamental reality.  Implications of doing psychotherapy in constructed reality will be discussed with a focus on training models, profiting from clinical experience, and enhancing therapeutic outcomes.  This workshop is based on my upcoming book:  Practicing Psychotherapy in Constructed Reality:  Ritual, Charisma, and Enhancing Therapeutic Outcomes.


Upon completion of this class, participants will be able to:

1)     Analyze the therapy outcome research literature in terms of answering the question: do psychotherapy techniques have innate power.

2)    Explain the Jerome Franks Common Factors Theory and list the benefits of seeing therapy as a “ritual” instead of a “technique.”

3)    Discern between constructed reality and fundamental reality and list the benefits of practicing psychotherapy in constructed reality.


Anderson, T., Lunnen K. M. & Ogles, B. M. (2010). Putting models and techniques in context. In B. L. Duncan, S. D. Miller, B. E. Wampold & M.A Hubble’s The heart and soul of change (Kindle Locations 3795-4399). Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Soul-Change-Second-Delivering-ebook/dp/B004T9YTEG

Berger, P. L., & Luckmann, T. (1966). The social construction of reality: a treatise in the sociology of knowledge. New York, NY: Anchor Books.

Duncan, B. L., Miller, S. D.,  Wampold, B. E., & Hubble, M. A. (2010). The heart and soul of change: delivering what works in therapy (2nd edition). Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Soul-Change-Second-Delivering-ebook/dp/B004T9YTEG

Gergen, K. J. (2009). An invitation to social construction (2nd edition). Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Germer, C. K., & Siegel, R. D. (Eds.). (2012). Wisdom and compassion in psychotherapy: deepening mindfulness in clinical practice. Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com/Wisdom-Compassion-Psychotherapy-Deepening-Mindfulness-ebook/dp/B007W4ED6O

Kahneman, D. (2013). Thinking, fast and slow. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Lambert, M., & Ogles, B. M. (2004). The efficacy and effectiveness of psychotherapy. In Lambert (Ed.) Bergin and Garfield’s handbook of psychotherapy and behavior change (5th ed., p. 169). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Miller, S., & Hubble, M. (2011). The road to mastery. Psychotherapy networker, 35 (3), 22.

CPA is co-sponsoring with Santa Barbara County Psychological Association. CPA is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists and recognized by the BBS to offer CE credit for its licensees. CPA maintains responsibility for this program and its contents.

Important Notice: Those who attend the workshop and complete the CPA evaluation form will receive 1.5 continuing education credits. Please note that APA CE rules require that we only give credit to those who attend the entire workshop. Those arriving more than 15 minutes after the start time or leaving before the workshop is completed will not receive CE credits.


SBCPA Continuing Education Committee

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