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April 8, 2002

Journal to debunk pseudoscience

By Beverly Clark


Unsubstantiated and unorthodox psychological and psychiatric treatments will undergo closer scrutiny with the upcoming launch of The Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice, a new academic journal founded and edited by psychology Associate Professor Scott Lilienfeld.

The journal focuses on the impartial, scientific investigation of novel, controversial or untested claims concerning mental health treatments while seeking to narrow the widening gap between mental health science and actual practice.

“The journal is devoted to distinguishing science from pseudoscience in clinical psychology,” said Lilienfeld, who recently published a paper questioning the validity of Rorschach inkblot tests. For example, an upcoming article will explore the case of a Colorado girl who was smothered to death while receiving a controversial “re-birthing” procedure last year that was intended to help her re-connect with her adopted mother.

Lilienfeld says he hopes to raise the bar for the level of scientific debate on controversial mental health practices.

“Subjecting these techniques to careful scientific scrutiny will ultimately help maintain the integrity of mental health practice,” he said.

The journal will be published by Prometheus Books in Amherst, N.Y., and will be out later this spring. For more information about the journal, e-mail Lilienfeld at

For subscription information, call 1-800-421-0351.