The CauseHealth Series Chapter 12: The Relevance of Dispositionalism for Psychotherapy and Psychotherapy Research with Tobias Gustum Lindstad


Welcome to another episode of The Words Matter Podcast.

In this episode of the CauseHealth Series, I’m speaking with Tobias Gustum Lindstad about Chapter 12 that he wrote for the CauseHealth book titled “The Relevance of Dispositionalism for Psychotherapy and Psychotherapy Research” (read chapter 12 here).

Tobias is a Clinical Psychologist both within secondary public mental healthcare and community-based primary care services, as well as in private practice. His research concerns the relevance of philosophy for psychology, psychotherapy research and mental healthcare.

He is the main Editor of the book Respect for Thought: Jan Smedslund’s Legacy for Psychology, coedited with Erik Stänicke and Jaan Valsiner, published by Springer (here).

So on this episode we talk about:

  • The relationship between evidence (EBP) and psychological practice.
  • The sort of evidence that is prioritised and the prevailing philosophical assumptions around knowledge and psychological healthcare.
  • His criticisms of the value of the RCTs for generating knowledge which is meaningful for psychological practice, in particular being able to account for the unique meanings, experiences and perspectives that people have, and he likens this to what he calls ‘the medical pill model’ where psychological care is tested in the same way as a medical pill might be tested in an RCT.
  • We talk about the problem of standardisation in psychological care and research.
  • He tells me why Humeanism must be replaced by dispositionalism in relation to causality in psychology.
  • Finally, Tobias outline the major implications of dispositionalism for psychotherapy practice, including methodological pluralism, causal singularism, avoiding pseudo-empirical research  and advancing the theoretical integration of psychotherapy perspectives.

So I really enjoyed talking to Tobias. It is clear he has thought very deeply about these important problems within clinical psychology and contributes wonderfully to the argument of how dispositionalism may go some way, if not all the way to addressing these fundamental issues in evidence-based psychological care.

So I bring you Tobias Gustum Lindstad.

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