Archive for the ‘Science’ Category


October 22, 2008

I just made a new Category for my blog. Pscienc. There are heaps of posts back in the past that will need to be categorised.

Psychology and science as a unified field.

I wonder if anyone else has used the name? Plenty, but none that use it in this way. Political science, and there is a band.

Here is the first post I’ll add Murray Gell-Mann


Here are some pscientific questions:

What can we learn about binary stars by doing intentional dialogues with a life-partner?

Should we use the term gravity or will Eros do?

Is there such a thing as psychic energy? Libido? In psychology is energy a metaphor? What if it were a metaphor in physics as well?

Was Jung right to think the law of thermo-dynamics applies to psychic energy?

What can Moreno’s “social atom” for the smallest social unit needed for survival teach us about the structure of the atom in physics? And vice versa.

Is a social dyad like a quantum phenomena in that once observed the phenomena is transformed?

Does isomorphy, i.e self-similarity, work all the way from the big-bang to a synapse in our brain?

Ideas, stories and metaphors impact on on the world. They are real in their consequences. Therefore God is real.

Proof in maths is different from proof in physics. How do you prove you love someone? What if we applied standards of proof from one context in another? We already do: The theorem is true because it is elegant.


Assertive Outreach by Peter Ryan and Steve Morgan

August 13, 2006


Assertive Outreach: A Strengths Approach to Policy and Practice by Peter Ryan and Steve Morgan

 A Strengths Approach to Policy and Practice

This book gives a comprehensive, evidence-based account of assertive outreach from a strengths perspective. It emphasizes developing a collaborative approach to working with the service user, which stresses the achievement of the service users own aspirations, and building upon the service users own strengths and resources. The book provides a comprehensive, authoritative approach to the subject, that combines an overview of the policy and practice issues. It makes use of extensive case study material to illustrate individual and team circumstances.

My last post pointed to the Author, Steve Morgan’s website.  The blurb above sounds excellent, and it seems there is a strong focus on practice-based evidence and I am now more curious about the “strenghts” approach which I have seen introduced top down with not much success.

Practice-Based Evidence

August 13, 2006

Practice Based Evidence – Welcome:

Contemporary mental health services are challenged to address ‘evidence based practice’, but is this at the expense of ‘practice based evidence’?

At first glance there is a very welcome movement here for an approach that can avoid scientism in psychotherapy. I am enthusiastic that this will blend well with the sort of sociometric exploration that Moreno developed. Using the words practice-based evidence there is a swag of good stuff that comes up in Google. 

Brights – nice name for this breed of athiests

August 7, 2006

A Jungian Notebook

Dolores Brien is one of my favourite bloggers.  This post is typical of why.  In the recent post on various scientists etc I was attracted to science on the one hand and repelled on the other.  Got something clear: I am repelled by the brights.  Good to see Freeman Dyson is not among them, I’d like his blog too – does he have one?  His daugter does – she uses flickr! Some athiests are more spiritual than religious people – dyson is one & maybe Dolores too.

Although Dyson is not a religious believer and as a distinguished scientist is eminently qualified to be a “bright” should he choose to do so, he tells us that he himself sees religion as a “precious and ancient part of our human heritage.” Dennett, on the contrary, “sees it as a load of superfluous mental baggage which we should be glad to discard.” What is missing from Dennett, as Dyson sees it, is the recognition that science is only one way of understanding. “Science,” Dyson writes, “is a particular bunch of tools that have been conspicuously successful for understanding and manipulating the material universe. Religion is another bunch of tools, giving us hints of a mental or spiritual universe that transcends the material universe.” If you use, as Dennett does, only the scientific tools, you will never understand religion. “We can all agree that religion is a natural phenomenon, but nature may include many more things than we can grasp with the methods of science.”

“Connected Knowing” closer to the source.

August 3, 2006

Tracking down the source…


Women’s Ways of Knowing: The Development of Self, Voice, and Mind
by Mary Belenky, Blythe Clinchy, Nancy Goldberger, Jill Tarule

This 1996 edition is the 10th aniversary edition – originally from 1986

From interviews with 135 women (mostly privileged college students) regarding their search for truth and knowledge, the authors (all female faculty members of colleges or universities) determine five learning “perspectives” that characterize “women’s way of knowing.” The somewhat philosophical text, which skillfully blends narration, documentation, and excerpts from interviews, sees higher education’s teaching methods as more responsive to male “impersonalness” than female “connectedness” and recommends ways to improve the situation. On the whole, a work ironically geared more to the dialectician or feminist scholar than to the “integrated constructivist” or “passionate knower.” For large public and academic libraries. Janice Arenofsky, formerly with Arizona State Lib., Phoenix Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

The story interestingly continues, in 1996:


Knowledge, Difference and Power: Essays Inspired by Women’s Ways of Knowing
by Nancy Rule Goldberger, Jill Mattuck Tarule, Blythe McVicker Clinchy, Mary Field Belenky

From Publishers Weekly
Ten years ago, the editors, all educators working in the field of psychology, published a theory of epistemology based on interviews with women that caused ripples in academic circles. This anniversary volume contains 15 articles, including one by each editor, that deal with the controversies that arose from the original work, Women’s Ways of Knowing, and the ways in which the writers have since changed their thinking. Several pieces, including one by feminist Sara Ruddick, deal with the concept of “connected knowing,” which, according to the authors, means acquiring knowledge by entering the belief world of another person; it has been criticized by some as contributing to a gender-determined system of learning. An interesting piece by social psychologist Aida Hurtado addresses the issues of race and class in relation to ways of knowing. These scholarly contributions will be of interest primarily to those already familiar with the original work.

This led me to a pdf:

A Feminist Ethical Perspective on Weapons of Mass Destruction
Carol Cohn and Sara Ruddick
to be published in: Ethics and Weapons of Mass Destruction
eds. Steven Lee and Sohail Hashmi, under review at Cambridge University Press.

Which in turn has interesting references:

The phrase “alternative epistemology” comes from Margaret Urban Walker, “Moral
Understandings: Alternative ‘Epistemology’ for a Feminist Ethics,” Hypatia, vol. 4, no. 4
(1989) pp.15-28.

They go on to refer mostly to the two books above… so it seems we are at the source.

Connected knowing and Role-Reversal

August 3, 2006

Imago World

A short article: Receiving Sexual Pleasure by Sylvia Rosenfeld, LCSW, again has that Imago reference to “connected knowing”:

The goal of Imago Relationship Therapy is to create the conditions in a relationship that will encourage positive change in partners. The right environment retrains the brain. The behavioral component of sex therapy does this as well. The integration of both therapies can help a couple move from “separate” to “connected” knowing. Dialogue and behavioral assignments, especially sensate focus, create the continual repetition, through words and actions that translate what their “brains” know to what their “hearts” know as well.

I just had a thought that this might be what Psychodramatists call “Role-Reversal” in a sense couples become more empathic as they dialogue, to the point where they have a knowing of each other that goes beyond empathy, they know so many of the dots that it is easy to fill in all the dots (if you get my drift). I can grasp these things more when I can relate them to my primary modality, that is where I learnt things in a visceral way.  In Psychodrama the role reversal is enacted where people literally change places and enact the role that the other had.  It is an important technique.  However it is also used as a way of speaking about an ability people have to step into the shoes of the other.  Again to mix modalities, someone with a narcissitic wound can’t role revers – that is the same wound.  It is also one of the latest stages of child development, and builds on other skills such as mirroring.

I heard about how in the grieving process for a miscarriage the parent role-reversed with the spirit of the child. They had named the unborn baby Martha. In the role reversal the child revealed many feelings and some gratitude for its brief in utero time on earth. She also made it clear that she did not like the name Martha & would they please change it. What sort of knowing is that!


August 3, 2006

Barbara L. Green – For Therapists:

Imago and Object Relations

All sounds a bit mysterious to me, but it is a worthy project, to grasp the shape of the Imago (which I think of a a complex of little hooks or valencies which search out healing relationships.)  Now that is a form of knowing, and yes it will have its origins in that psychological entity which Psychodramatists call the “Original Social Atom” or internal object relationships in the Britich Psychoanalytic tradition.

The amalgam that is the imago, therefore, is a complicated component of the mental apparatus. Partly conscious but to a large degree preconscious and unconscious, it contains numerous bytes of knowledge. Some are certainties but have never become differentiated thoughts; others are the residue of direct bodily experiences recorded permanently, like a dent made in the earth by a falling meteor. Still others result from distal observations and are filed away, to be later referred to with unconscious automaticity.

Connected Knowing – turning up in the wrong places…

August 2, 2006

Catholic University Au

Later: Thursday, 23 October, 2008 – the link to the specific page & the Kandinsky is dead.

Finished up at this page looking up epistemology stuff for my article on Psychotherapy & Science which I am rewriting. I am putting it here on my blog partly ’cause I love the Kandinsky. Also because the “connected knowing” theme has found its way into Imago via Helen Hunt’s feminism. Science & Psychotherapy paper is, I believe a way expand connected knowing idea as a way of doing science.

There seems to be some truth in this, despite the sometimes degrading treatment of the sexuality of women (humiliating stereotypes and a ‘double standard’ which applies in many cultures). It is important to speak from the different contexts of women’s experience and bring to theological reflection a closeness to and integration with bodily processes. This is what a number of feminists call ‘connected knowing’ which contests the one-dimensional rationalist thinking which has dominated Western progress thought. We are challenged by this Feminist experience to question certain patterns of thought which justify the exploitation of people (women, workers and the poor) and to replace these patterns with a connected and Conciliar process that is more sensitive and just.

Psychotherapy and Scientific Method

April 6, 2005

Psychotherapy and Scientific Method pdf file. A paper about sociometry and musings about the future of knowing. Presentation at the NZAP conference, Queenstown, New Zealand, April 2005

This paper has been a long time in the writing. It has been hard to do as the ideas are profound, important but still somewhat underdeveloped. I will be presenting this at the conference this weekend, looking forward to that and with luck, getting more clarity from presenting it. Here is the abstract:

The scientific method used in the physical sciences does not easily lend itself to the study of interpersonal relationships and it can conflict with a psychological depth perspective. Dr. J.L. Moreno, the founder of psychodrama, proposed that the methods he used with the psyche and the socius are scientific but unlike the methods of the physical sciences. He took this one astounding step further by stating this would lead to a new paradigm of investigation that would revolutionise even the physical sciences.This paper explains, examines and defends aspects of the nature of psychological work that needs a re-evaluation of the scientific methods akin to that proposed by Moreno. It concludes with discussion of the implications for psychotherapy in three vital areas: training and assessment of psychotherapists, supervision and evaluation of psychotherapy for insurance purposes.