Bergner, R.M. / Published 2006 / Article
Citation: Bergner, R.M. (2006). Beyond Empirical Validation: Justifying Therapeutic Judgment and Action. In K. E. Davis, & R. M Bergner (Eds.), Advances in Descriptive Psychology: Vol. 8 (pp. 145-173). Ann Arbor, MI: Descriptive Psychology Press.
Abstract: Psychotherapy, well and carefully undertaken by competent individuals adhering to certain practice guidelines, while it can and should benefit from scientific research, rests on many other epistemic foundations, some of which are more certain than the necessarily probabilistic outcomes of psychological research. In this paper, a scale of justified belief is presented. This scale rates the degree of certainty of propositions yielded by different sources of knowledge, and thus the confidence with which we may believe and act upon them. Following the presentation of this scale, an analysis of the degree to which each of these knowledge sources enters into the practice of psychotherapy is developed. In the end, what is proffered here is a view of psychotherapy as a distinctly rational and empirical activity whose judgments and decisions rest, not only on scientific research, but on many further secure foundations.