Bridger & Caleb discuss Michael R. Jackson’s 2017 article and whether EBT should be standardized.

Standardized? Quantitative vs. Qualitative Inquiry 

  • Melchert believes it may be best to phase out old ways of thinking and replace it with new knowledge. 
  • Additionally, he thinks studies following an experimental design should be more highly valued over qualitative inquiries.
  • And are more scientifically reliable.
  • However, Jackson, a qualitative theorist, disagrees. 
  • There is still so much enigma surrounding psychological phenomena.
  • Quantitative and Qualitative are two paradigms with their own theories.
  • Each paradigm has its own theories, interventions, and modes of inquiry. 
  • It’s important to look at the exemplars at each level. 

“The only scientific paradigm creates dehumanized subjects. The only qualitative mode of inquiry creates chaotic bursts of information” (23:52)

Standardized? Right brain vs left brain

  • Not just a line with a point on each side. 
  • Rather, it’s a circular flow of information that influences how each side organizes information. 
  • Purely scientific inquiries can get large amounts of data to find averages and such.
  • But Jackson feels that this can end up dehumanizing the subjects. 
  • Both hemispheres are needed for balance.

Standardized? Should these two paradigms be unified around neurobiology?

  • Melchert believes all discoveries should be validated in neurobiology.
  • And that we should be critical of things we can’t validate this way.
  • However, there is still so much unknown. 
  • There’s a difference between unified clinical science and uniform clinical science. 
  • There will always be questions that technology can’t answer, regardless of how advanced it becomes.

Standardized? Evolving Modes of Thought

  • Kuhn believed that new paradigms should include earlier thoughts as building blocks. 
  • Melchert thinks we should replace the outdated modes of inquiry. 
  • Jackson reiterated Kuhn’s thought that paradigms are dynamic systems.
  • Quantitative studies are focused heavily on eliminating noise.
  • However, it is still an important method of inquiry. 
  • But if we strive for unified thought we will miss out on so much diversity. 
  • Additionally, Jackson notes that we must examine much more than the paradigm.

Problems with Standardization

  • Melchert proposes forcing a paradigm change from the top down 
  • Further, interventions must fit into the findings and language of controlled laboratory research
  • Which is very restrictive and objectifying 
  • And could eliminate many forms of qualitative research 
  • And replace effective therapies
  • Jackson thinks that some of Melchert’s implications are unclear
  • Whether he’s advocating for paradigms being unified or uniform 
  • Specifically, Jackson takes issue with his proposition for standardization 
  • Ultimately, Jackson believes that limiting the science in this way will weaken public confidence in psychology 

Training in Qualitative Design

  • An inquiry-based on qualitative data can be scientific in nature.
  • Importantly, courses on qualitative design aren’t really taught. 
  • On the other hand, quantitative design training is standard.
  • Resulting in losing sight of what’s really happening in the room. 
  • And not knowing how to handle variability.

So, Should EBT be Standardized?

“If we are going to standardize anything, we need to standardize the existence of both. And that they are equally powerful and should be used complementarily”

  • Standard implies something rigid and inflexible, narrowed
  • Simply, therapy should not be forced to fit into a standardized protocol 
  • Importantly, stay curious and creative 
  • Look to exemplars, but know that they may not have the answer 


Season 2 Articles

Did you know?  After full completion of Beyond Healing Institute’s Somatic Integration and Processing training, each participant can receive 21 NBCC hours. 

Beyond Healing Center

Beyond Healing Media

Interested in supporting a child? 

  • 100% of the proceeds donated to the Burntout Educator will provide therapy for a child in the public school system
  • Not therapy capped at a certain number, but an open-ended relationship with a highly qualified therapist in the BHC network. 

Connect with us on social media: Facebook & Instagram


Executive Directors: Jennifer and Ryan Savage, Melissa Bentinnedi, Bridger Falkenstein
Hosts: Bridger Falkenstein, Caleb Boston, and  Melissa Benintendi
Filmographer: Tyler Wassam
Podcast Editor: Jamie Eggert
Original Music Composers: Bridger Falkenstein and Caleb Boston
Show Notes: Jamie Eggert & Jordan Murray