An Interview with Robert Fancher, Ph.D. on Cultures of Healing

An Interview with Robert Fancher, Ph.D. on Cultures of Healing. Mental Help Net (www.mentalhelp.net) presents the Wise Counsel Podcast (wisecounsel.mentalhelp.net), hosted by David Van Nuys, Ph.D. Dr. Fancher is known for his 1995 book, Cultures of Healing, which is notable for its criticism of the cognitive-behavioral school within clinical psychology, which he understands to be based on a provincial vision of the scientific enterprise; one more concerned with engineering outcomes than with understanding the natural world. Dr. Fancher finds that many psychological scientists and therapists simply swallow, unquestioningly, cultural traditions about the nature of the world and the best ways to study it that they are taught in school, and go on to simply repeat these understandings, believing them to be Facts, rather than a particular and biased understanding of the true and ultimately unknowable underlying world. Therapists embeddedness and lack of ability to criticise their own undersandings blinds them to the fact that they have worldviews (one among many), and that these worldviews both have ethical ramifications that need to be explored, and also bias their interpretations. Many therpists do not attend to their role as moral agents with values and agendas that necessarily influence their clients. Therapists are taught to be value-neutral towards their clients, but this is both an impossible and absurd stance, and also sometimes a damaging one (e.g., when therapists do not take an ethical position towards their clients unethical behavior).

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