A New Unified Theory of Psychology

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9781461400578: A New Unified Theory of Psychology
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Concern about psychology’s fragmentation is not new, but there has for the past decade been increasing calls for psychologists to acknowledge to the costs associated with fragmentation and to search for ways to unify the discipline.

A New Unified Theory of Psychology introduces a new system that addresses psychology’s current theoretical and philosophical difficulties. The new theory consists of four interlocking pieces that together provide―for the first time―a macro-level view that clarifies the nature of psychology’s problems and offers a clear way to unify the various elements of the field. The unified theory provides the field of psychology with a well-defined subject matter, allowing both academic and professional psychologists will be able to develop a shared language and conceptual foundation.

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Summary

 

Following the demise of the so-called grand theories offered by luminaries like Sigmund Freud, B. F. Skinner, and Carl Rogers, the field of psychology largely gave up its early aspirations to paint a broad picture of the human condition, and now the discipline focuses primarily on empirical problems that have a relatively narrow scope. The consequence has been a proliferation of interesting findings with no real capacity to answer big questions or to generate a shared general understanding of the human condition. This book seeks to change the status quo and offers up a new unified theory of psychology that redefines the science and the profession and paints a new picture of human nature in the process. 

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Praise for

A New Unified Theory of Psychology

 

“The field of psychology is known for its paradoxical combination of sweeping scope and impressive micro-theories, on the one hand, and fragmentation and internecine squabbling, on the other. To this state of affairs, any serious effort to provide integration and unity within psychological knowledge and understanding is heartily welcomed. And Henriques' effort in this regard is not only serious, but one of the most cogent, scholarly, sophisticated, beautifully reasoned, clearly articulated, and accessibly written presentations of a unified theory in psychology that I have seen in my 50 years in the discipline.”

 Daniel B. Fishman, Author of The Case for Pragmatic Psychology,

Professor, Rutgers University

 

“As the field of psychology has grown, so have the challenges of fragmentation and of misunderstandings. This brave book represents a noble quest to provide a broad, values-based, and scientific framework which holds the power to organize our work and move us forward in strong, new ways.”

Lawrence G. Calhoun, Author of Facilitating Post-Traumatic Growth,

 Professor, University of North Carolina-Charlotte

 

 “In this very ambitious book, Henriques makes a strong case for why bold efforts are needed in the fragmented realm of psychological research and theory. Although different readers will likely make different judgments about how well Henriques has succeeded in his aims, it nevertheless is an act of intellectual daring that can perhaps inspire psychologists to look outside the narrow confines of a single laboratory paradigm and open their thinking to how to address the full range of human behavior and experience.”

Paul L. Wachtel, Author of Therapeutic Communication,

 Distinguished Professor, CUNY

 

 “Concise, erudite, and practical, this book is a manifesto that challenges psychology to move past fragmented domains of knowledge to a consilient framework, which will allow multi-disciplinary discourse and scientific advances. I suggest all scientists, psychotherapists, and scholars spend some time familiarizing themselves with the concepts and suggestions presented in this seminal volume by a leading scholar.”

Jeffrey Magnavita, Author of Personality Guided Relational Psychotherapy,

Founder of the Unified Psychotherapy Project

About the Author:

Dr. Gregg Henriques is Associate Professor and Director of the Combined-Integrated Doctoral Program in Clinical and School Psychology at James Madison University. He received his Masters degree in Clinical/Community Psychology from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte in 1996 and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Vermont in 1999. Prior to coming to JMU in 2003, he spent four years at the University of Pennsylvania where he worked with Dr. Aaron T. Beck, exploring the effectiveness of psychotherapy for individuals who recently attempted suicide.

Dr. Henriques has been working on the Tree of Knowledge System for just over a decade. During his Masters degree, he had become interested in the field of psychotherapy integration and began surveying diverse bodies of literature. It was late in 1996, while he was reading up on research in social cognitive theory, evolutionary psychology and psychodynamic theory that he had the key insight that led to the Justification Hypothesis. Six months after that pivotal idea, he had developed the basic structure of the Tree of Knowledge System.

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