Tom Strong

Tom Strong
The University of Calgary | HBI · Werklund School of Education Counselling Psychology

PhD

About

219
Publications
112,410
Reads
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1,450
Citations
Introduction
My work tends to focus on the critically-informed, collaborative and generative potentials of dialogue and social interaction - particularly in therapy contexts. Check out my website to find/request further contributions: http://ucalgary.ca/strongt/
Additional affiliations
September 2001 - present
The University of Calgary
Position
  • Professor
September 1989 - April 1995
Government of British Columbia, Canada
Position
  • Medical Professional

Publications

Publications (219)
Preprint
Educators can play a critical role in buffering LGBTQ youth from potential victimization. As such, the present study explored the following questions: 1) What are the roles of educators (i.e., teachers, school administrators) with respect to promoting and creating safe and inclusive spaces for LGBTQ youth; 2) what unique contributions can educators...
Article
This two-year study examined the barriers and challenges encountered by refugee parents as they negotiate their children’s successful transition into a new school system. The researchers sought to determine what can be learned from parent and educator experiences of these obstacles in order to optimize parent–teacher collaboration for refugee famil...
Preprint
This 2-year study examined the challenges and barriers that refugee families and schools encounter in their new homeland. The researchers sought to determine what can be learned from parent and educator experiences of these obstacles in order to optimize parent-teacher collaboration for refugee families. Contextualized within a LEAD (Literacy, Engl...
Article
This 2-year study examined the challenges and barriers that refugee families and schools encounter in their new homeland. The researchers sought to determine what can be learned from parent and educator experiences of these obstacles in order to optimize parent-teacher collaboration for refugee families. Contextualized within a LEAD (Literacy, Engl...
Article
ABSTRACT This study sought to determine the role pedagogical love can play in the emotional experience of (Arabic-speaking) refugee families in Calgary, Canada, as they engaged with the public education system at the Grade 4–12 level. Through a cooperative inquiry approach, based on a shared agenda and interests, the researchers used cycles of acti...
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This is a book review for the International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work
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The number of Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming (TGNC) individuals who are presenting for counseling is increasing; yet counselors receive little to no exposure to gender-diversity throughout their education and training. TGNC individuals have reported receiving discriminatory experiences within therapy and ineffectual outcomes. Consistent with...
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Approaches to counseling, psychotherapy, and well-being have been central to developments in mental health for over a century. What distinguishes approaches from models of mental health is their research-based standardization. This entry provides a proposed definition for models, and a critical review of psychotherapy "models" in mental health. Ten...
Article
In this conceptual paper, we offer an alternative to traditional approaches to addictive behaviours and addictions counselling. We outline practice theory and tenets of an institutional ethnographic approach used to inquire into tacit or invisible practices of addictive behaviours, the work of recovery from them, and how counselling may (or may not...
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My review of The Routledge International Handbook of Global Therapeutic Cultures, by Daniel Nehring, Ole Jacob Madsen, Edgar Cabanas, China Mills, & Dylan Kerrigan (Editors), New York: Routledge, 2020
Article
Long acknowledged as sites of social construction, family interactions, and what is constructed from those interactions, have become an increasing focus of qualitative research. Of particular interest to systemic family therapists are interactions and conversations through which family members work out (or not) their ways of being and relating toge...
Preprint
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Many problems clients present to counsellors can be represented as situated concerns to be reflected upon and addressed collaboratively. We find situational analysis (SA) mapping procedures useful for joining clients in ‘zooming out and in’ to critically reflect upon the situated concerns clients present and for generating possible ways to address...
Chapter
Long acknowledged as sites of social construction, family interactions, and what is constructed from those interactions, have become an increasing focus of qualitative research. Of particular interest to systemic family therapists are interactions and conversations through which family members work out (or not) their ways of being and relating toge...
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Full-text available
We offer our account of socio-materialism, proposing ways to conceptualize and research dialogic practices that bring together humans and non-human elements (e.g. technologies) through tacit yet complex interactions in everyday life. Using a clinical example , we adapt Adele Clarke's mapping procedures to identify complex influences and dialogic pr...
Article
Despite the considerable potential of qualitative approaches for studying the systemic and constructionist therapy process due to shared theoretical and epistemological premises, to date there is lack of a comprehensive qualitative synthesis of how change process is experienced and conceptualized by clients and therapists. To address this evidence...
Article
Despite the emphasis of systemic and constructionist approaches on discourse and interaction, to date there has been no comprehensive overview of how change process is performed within in-session therapeutic dialogue. In this paper, we present a qualitative meta-synthesis of 35 articles reporting systemic and constructionist therapy process data fr...
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Book review (in press) Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy
Article
Involuntary (or forced) global migration has been bringing together people of different cultural backgrounds, including migrants and those hosting them. In this introductory article and the articles which follow, we focus on the meanings constructed of involuntary migration processes, aiming to better understand these processes according to those w...
Article
In their article, Mascolo and Kallio invite readers conceptually and empirically to an intersubjective, or “phenomenological between.” This response examines a particular aspect of their theorizing: conceptual corroboration. The word corroboration seemed too strong, invoking a kind of realist empiricism to which constructivist psychology provides a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Involuntary (or forced) global migration has been bringing together people of different cultural backgrounds, including migrants and those hosting them. In this introductory article and the
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Full-text available
Long acknowledged as sites of social construction, family interactions, and what is constructed from those interactions, have become an increasing focus of qualitative research. Of particular interest to systemic family therapists, are interactions and conversations through which family members work out (or not) their ways of being and relating tog...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract The British Psychological Society’s Clinical Division (2018) recently published the Power-Threat-Meaning Framework, an evidence-supported discussion document to promote consideration of alternatives to functional psychiatric diagnosis. I summarize the general content and approach of the framework as a meaning-focused alternative to the psy...
Chapter
Bringing the insights of discursive researchers and discursive practitioners, we conceptualize and provide empirical evidence for "discursive ethics." For us, disucrsive ethics are ways of practice that are reciprocal and non-hierarchical when it comes to how professionals engage clients in meaning-making dialogues and processes based on client pre...
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Evidence of aspects of a “therapeutic state” can be seen as operative in different contexts, though such a state would not be possible without a diagnostic discourse to enable its administration. In this article, we examine how the diagnostic discourse of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fifth Edition (DSM-5, American Psy...
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Andreas Reckwitz’s The invention of creativity is reviewed with a focus on its genealogy of contemporary cultural creativity, as this relates to social practices and subjectivities.
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We introduce what we mean by discursive research and discursive therapies, highlighting key discursive concepts and methodological similarities, cutting across the relatively recent fields of discursive therapy and discursive research. Highlighting our aim, to promote closer dialogue between discursive researchers and discursive therapies, we exami...
Chapter
In this chapter, we link ethical practice and discursive theory and research and introduce discursive ethics of practice as a therapeutic concept and orientation embedded within a postmodern or discursive worldview. Central to our discursive view of ethical practice is an empirical focus on how therapist and client negotiate the meanings and conver...
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Full-text available
We introduce what we mean by discursive research and discursive therapies, highlighting key discursive concepts and methodological similarities, cutting across the relatively recent fields of discursive therapy and discursive research. Highlighting our aim, to promote closer dialogue between discursive researchers and discursive therapies, we exami...
Preprint
In this article, we explore how clients and family therapists move forward from relating based on taken for granted ideas about the cultural other, to relationally recognize what is different about their cultural identities and practices, and how such differences are generated, maintained, and dealt with in relationships. We focus on how clients an...
Article
Appreciative of Jon Raskin’s invitation to develop alternatives to the DSM-5 diagnostic system, I share my concerns about systematization and reification that can come with any diagnostic system, through its subsequent research and administrative use. Focusing specifically on nonsevere and relational concerns (aspects of Arendt’s “human condition”)...
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The aim of this paper is to summarize research into the tensions associated with medicalization in graduate counselor education in a primarily Canadian context. Counselor education, until recently, has largely embraced pluralistic traditions of practice that are potentially at odds with a medicalized approach to practice. Medicalization here refers...
Book
This book addresses the premise that therapy can be understood, practiced, and researched as a discursive activity. Using varied forms of discourse analysis, it examines the cultural, institutional, and face-to-face communications that shape, and occur within, therapies that are discursively understood and practiced. By first providing an overview...
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In this chapter, we refl ect on the social justice dimensions of counselors’ diagnostic activities. While a client diagnosis is typically central to an evidence- based treatment plan, our sensitivities as discursive scholars draw our attention to what does and does not get talked about in diagnostic interviews and how social justice concerns can be...
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In counselling and psychology, scholars have pointed out the need for clinicians to develop cultural sensitivity and awareness for their work with clients (e.g., Arthur & Collins, 2010; Daniel, 2012; Rober, 2012). The multicultural movement in counselling has importantly highlighted how non-dominant cultural groups were misrepresented by psychology...
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This is a revised version of an earlier chapter and article: We have been encouraged by continued developments within cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and offer ‘our’ dialogic and discursive (i.e., social constructionist) ideas as resources for where CBT might yet develop. We show how these ideas inform our critical examination of CBT should it...
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Counselling has a relatively recent history of helping people overcome problems and difficulties that could, if unaddressed, become more serious mental health concerns. It also can be seen as part of a disappearing social safety net in an era of managed care and social service cuts. This book proposes we rethink what recent medicalizing development...
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This chapter focuses on how medicalizing has been influencing the funding, administration, and regulation of counselling as a health practice. Drawing from the author’s research it explores how medicalizing discourse has come to influence key documents, practices, and understandings of professionals who regulate, manage, and fund counselling. It ex...
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This chapter traces a critical, theoretical, and historical view of contemporary mental health “culture” as it is articulated and practiced in terms of diagnosable mental disorders and evidence-based practices (EBPs). Psychiatry’s pursuit of scientific legitimacy is examined through development of DSM-III–DSM-5 and corresponding evidence-based trea...
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This chapter draws from surveys and interviews with students, counsellor educators, and others with a stake in counsellors’ professional education. It also highlights debates in the professional and research literatures regarding the future of counselling and the future of counsellor education. Specifically, the chapter identifies how medicalizing...
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This chapter presents medicalization as a cultural response to human concerns and aspirations. Brief consideration is given to prior works of Cushman, Danziger, Foucault, and Hacking. Drawing from sociological writers, it critically traces a history of psychopathology as an expansionary discourse. In particular, it examines some of the debates that...
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The final chapter reviews previous chapters and presents a perspective on counselling as a discursively aware and resourceful conversational practice. Counselling is clearly a conversational practice occurring through how clients and counsellors talk and listen, yet seldom is it approached as a discursively meaningful activity. Counsellors and clie...
Chapter
This chapter takes a critical sociological perspective regarding mental health as a potentially dominant discourse for understanding and addressing human concerns. The cultural looping effects of mental health diagnoses are considered, along with “self-help” as a source of “biopower” and governmentality. Psychology’s logic and individualizing focus...
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This chapter focuses on what counsellors have had to say about the influence of medicalization on their recent practice as counsellors. Drawing from prior survey and interview research with counsellors, it uses Adele Clarke’ssituationalanalysis method to approach the issues counsellors in macro (zooming out) and micro (zooming in) ways they associa...
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This chapter examines the role that pharmaceutical research, marketing, and medication intake has come to play in a mental healthmonoculture. Drawing from the critical journalism of Robert Whitaker, and insider perspectives of Marcia Angell and Irving Kirsch, this chapter presents Andrew Lakoff’s research into pharmaceutical reasoning and pharmaceu...
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This chapter presents human concerns and responses to them as cultural constructions that vie for plausibility and dominance. After defining discourse (as ideology in a critical theory sense), common approaches (psychodynamic, cognitive, poststructural, systemic, feminist) developed and taken up within counselling are reviewed as discourses. These...
Chapter
After defining medicalization as having a “diagnose and treat” logic, I introduce tensions associated with medicalizing developments influencing counselling. Among the tensions examined will be: (a) counselling as a traditionally pluralistic profession in a mental health profession, (b) medicalization as a response to aspects of the human condition...
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Despite the growing interest on making clinical practice accountable, research on how specific components of professional competence are relevant in actual training/supervision practice is as yet unspecified. This study explores this dynamic aspect of professional supervision. Three supervisory dyads, composed by an experienced supervisor and a doc...
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Counsellors have historically endorsed pluralistic approaches to practice. However, recent medicalizing trends now often shape how they are paid, regulated, and administered. The experiences and views of graduate students in counsellor education with respect to this pluralism and medicalization have not been studied. In an effort to better understa...
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Immigrant family members negotiating preferred cultural identities in family therapy conversations: a discursive analysis In es Sametband a and Tom Strong b In this article we present a discursive analysis of how immigrant family members relationally recognize and co-articulate with each other's preferred cultural memberships during family therapy...
Book
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This book (pre-publication draft available on request) will trace recent influences of medicalization on counselling and counsellor education. While contemporary counselling has medical influences that predate Freud, a particular kind of medicalization has grown in influence since publication of the DSM-III in 1980. Since then, a common discourse o...
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In this chapter I approach interpersonal neurobiology and its applications to a collaborative psychotherapy as an emergent yet influential discourse of practice. Neuroscience discourse, for me, refers to scienceinformed understandings and practices that privilege the mind (often understood as the brain) as the primary seat of human action and under...
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Full-text available
https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2F978-3-319-15877-8_218-1.pdf
Article
Research on assessing supervisees’ professional development (PD) has been primarily focused on formal end-point, summative evaluations. Little attention has been given to the role that routine supervisory conversations play in formative PD evaluations. This study takes a situated/dialogical approach to explore how PD evaluations are locally propose...
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In the West, the concept of mental illness represents the dominant perspective on emotional distress. Despite their prominence, psychiatric diagnoses have been subject to extensive critiques, including their suitability for increasing therapists’ understanding of distress of socially marginalized clients. Family therapists are among the professiona...
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While many influences inform the writing of John Shotter, in this chapter I take up one particular influence on Shotter's work: the writing of Hubert Dreyfus. It was Dreyfus' 1967 article, "Must computers have bodies in order to be intelligent" that contributed to a change in Shotter's research orientation: from an interest in a technologically foc...
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Penultimate draft of Gaete Silva, J., & Strong, T. (in press). Evaluating Outcome in Supervision: Recognizing and Assessing Professional Developments from within the Supervisory Relationship. In B. Shepard & L. Martin (Eds.) Supervision of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Profession. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy...
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A review of Feeling bodies: Embodying Psychology, by John Cromby.
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A minor furore was set off back in the early 1960s when amateur historian Philips Ariés (1962) reported that childhood was discovered in the 17th century. The furore partly came from Ariés’ claim that childhood was relatively a recent notion formerly indistinguishable from adulthood. It took until 1842, for example, for the British parliament to en...
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Discourse analysis, such as analyses of mental health discourse, has enabled researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to step back from communications in order to see what is constructed in and from them. The great phenomenologist Edmund Husserl (1913) had suggested that such stepping back would help us to break with our natural attitude toward...
Article
for eventual publication in the European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling
Book
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"What kinds of embodied and relational learning can come from developing a responsive relationship with a horse? What insights might such ways of learning offer counselors and educators? In this book, the authors explore how women challenged by disordered eating develop transformative relational and embodied experiences through Equine-Facilitated C...
Research
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A review of the debate between Hubert Dreyfus and John McDowell on the role of concepts in coping
Research
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A case study of the development and use of the Interpersonal Patterns diagnostic system developed by Karl Tomm and clinicians at the Calgary Family Therapy Centre. to be published in the Journal of Family Psychotherapy
Chapter
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The psychiatric classification system of the DSM-5 has become a default commercial and scientific language of helping professionals, especially when it is coupled with evidence-based interventions for addressing human concerns understood as diagnosed disorders. Counsellors, however, have traditionally responded – conversationally – to their clients...
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What is required to become a good counsellor these days? Most answers start with mention of ethical and responsive relational and conversational skills. However, beyond this initial answer, consensus would be hard to find. Look beyond graduate programmes in counsellor education, to what counsellors are expected to do in their everyday practice, and...
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Reviews the book Mind, Reason, and Being-in-the-World: The McDowell-Dreyfus Debate (2013)edited by Joseph K. Schear. Hubert Dreyfus proposed a continental philosophy of experience and coping, while John McDowell proposed an analytic philosophy of experience and coping. Why should their distinctions matter and be grist for the terrific 2009 academic...
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Constructivists increasingly acknowledge a social dimension to how humans construct understandings that help them anticipate and navigate physical and social reality. Social constructionists (part of the constructivist family in this author’s view) regard such constructing to also involve negotiating meanings with others. In other words, in relatio...
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The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), given its psychiatric focus on mental disorders in individuals, presents families and family therapists with challenges. Despite considerable controversies over its adoption, the DSM-5 extends a process of standardizing a language for human and relational concerns. No...
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For over 20 years, family therapist Karl Tomm has been engaging families and couples with a therapeutic intervention he calls Internalized Other Interviewing (IOI). The IOI (cf. Emmerson-Whyte, 2010; Hurley, 2006) entails interviewing clients, from the personal experiences of partners and family members as an internalized other. The IOI is based on...
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In this paper, we address the phenomenon of clients who present their concerns in the medicalised discourse of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - Fifth Edition (DSM-5). We contextualise this phenomenon, highlighting how a ‘diagnose-and-treat’ logic increasingly pervades everyday understandings and informs people's efforts t...
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The Calgary Family Therapy Centre (Canada), under the clinical direction of Dr. Karl Tomm, has been a site of innovative practice for decades. One such innovative practice has been the development and clinical use of the Interpersonal Patterns diagnostic system, or IPscope, for assessing relational concerns, therapeutic developments, and wellbeing....
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We report on our study of the discourses involving money in family therapy. We chose to closely examine the conversations of families and to attend to the ways in which therapists working with families had conversations about money with families. Using Clarke's (2005) situational analysis, we found that in family interactions, money was used as a t...
Chapter
There are many different ways to understand eating disorders, and human experience in general. In making sense of our world, people draw on cultural understandings including institutional knowledge (e.g., the biomedical system), pop culture (e.g., what we see on television or read about on social media), and political powers/systems (e.g., policies...
Chapter
I’ve come to know more about my own voice through writing this work. I seem to be transfixed in the writing process at times, swept away as if on a wave, my fingers struggling to type faster and faster still, trying to capture a thought, idea, or feeling. It is through listening to the voices of others that I’ve been able to connect to my own belie...
Chapter
The remembering and transformational capacities of our bodies point to the many ways that we are dialogically intertwined with the world, always in the midst of response and responding. Merleau-Ponty (1962, 1964, 1968) advanced this by positing our bodies as the seat of all human experience. His revolutionary line of thought provides a counter to t...
Chapter
In this research we relied on the tradition of hermeneutic phenomenology to guide us in the facilitation of our EFC groups, participant interviews, and the resulting stories created with the women who took part. This approach is much more than a way to conduct qualitative research, it is a philosophy with a rich and detailed history, one that fits...

Questions

Question (1)
Question
I've been interested in the role that intensity thresholds play in sustaining and altering interactions within systems, networks and assemblages. Any ideas and reading suggestions regarding theory and research would be helpful. Thanks in advance
Tom

Projects

Projects (11)
Archived project
Mapping and meta-synthesis of change process research.
Archived project
Systematic qualitative meta-synthesis review of qualitative research of systemic and constructionist therapies
Project
A collaborative action research study looking at how teachers and refugee parents can optimize communication to best meet the learning needs of their students/children, and how parental engagement can facilitate better communication between refugee parents and teachers.