Faculty Profile

Psychology Faculty

Ronald Miller, PhD

Professor of Psychology

Ph.D. University of Vermont
B.A., Oberlin College

Areas of Expertise:

Theoretical and philosophical psychology; psychological suffering (psychopathology);  intensive psychotherapy.

Courses I Teach:

    1. Abnormal psychology
    2. Personality Theories
    3. Senior Seminar in History and Issues
    4. Introduction to Clinical Interventions I & II (graduate)
    5. The Practice of Intensive Psychotherapy  (graduate)

My Saint Michael's:

Saint Michael’s College has been a wonderful academic home for me these past 30 years. From the moment I joined the full-time faculty in the mid 1980’s I was struck by the great intellectual vitality of the campus. The campus was brimming with interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary discussions of the important questions of our time. I was particularly struck by how these conversations often turned to the implicit or explicit moral issues that were at the foundation of whatever topic was at hand- literary criticism, history of W.W.II, lowering the drinking age, or the wars in Central America and ultimately the Arabian Peninsula. Particularly impressive to me as a person who is not a member of the Catholic Church was the wonderful climate of civil discourse that the Edmundite Order had nurtured at the College, and this continues today.  To me these are the key elements of what make for a quality liberal arts education.

My scholarship has focused on the moral and epistemological foundations of clinical psychology, and the differences between scientific and clinical theory, observation, and inference. In this regard I have taken an international role in bringing the clinical case study back into the center of the psychotherapy research enterprise.

CURRICULUM VITAE

 

Ronald B. Miller

Professor

Saint Michael's College Winooski Park Colchester, VT 05439

802-654-2288

e-mail: rmiller@smcvt.edu

 

PERSONAL DATA

Date of Birth: July 29, 1948

Place of Birth: Buffalo, New York

Marital Status: Married with three children

 

EDUCATIONAL HISTORY

 

Ph. D. Degree             University of Vermont, May, 1976

Clinical Psychology - with major interests in psychotherapy, psychopathology, and school consultation.

 

Dissertation: " Assessment of child behavior problems in the school:  A comparison of behavioral observation and trait ratings"

Supervisor:  Jon E. Rolf, Ph.D.

 

Woodrow Wilson Fellow in Philosophy, Saint Andrews

University, Scotland, September 1970 - June 1971

 

B.A. Degree                 Oberlin College, magna cum laude, with high honors in philosophy
                                    
June 1970

 

ACADEMIC HONORS

 

Invited Address, Division 24,American Psychological Association Annual Meeting, 2008

Outstanding Contribution to Academic Psychology, Vermont Psych. Assoc., 2007

Scholarship and Artistic Achievement Award, Saint Michael’s College, 2005

Distinguished Service Award, Division 24, American Psychological Association, 2001

National Institute of Mental Health training fellowship in clinical psychology, 1972-1975

Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, 1970 -1971 (social and political philosophy) Council for Philosophical Studies International Essay Competition on Violence,

2nd Prize, 1970

Oberlin College Philosophy Prize, 1970


 

 

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

 

Professor                                                                                                        1998 - present

Department of Psychology

Saint Michael’s College

Colchester, Vermont

 

Associate Professor                                                                                       1989 - 1997

Saint Michael’s College

 

Assistant Professor                                                                                        1984 - 1989

Saint Michael’s College

 

ADMINISTRATIVE EXPERIENCE

 

Director                                                                                                         1985 - present

Graduate Program in Clinical Psychology

Saint Michael's College

 

CLINICAL EXPERIENCE

 

Private Practice (part-time)                                                                         1977 – present

Howard Mental Health Services

Staff Psychologist                                                                  `          1975-1977

 

 

 

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS AND MONOGRAPHS

 

Miller, R.B. (2015). Not So Abnormal Psychology: A Pragmatic View of Mental Illness. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

 

Miller, R. B. (2013).  Deny No Evil, Ignore No Evil, Reframe No Evil: Psychology’s Moral Agenda. In A. Bohart, E. Mendelowitz, B. Held, and K. Schneider (Eds). Humanitys Darkside. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Miller, R. B. (2011). Real Clinical Trials (RCT') – Panels of Psychological Inquiry for Transforming Anecdotal Data into Clinical Facts and Validated Judgments: Introduction to a Pilot Test with the Case of "Anna." Pragmatic Case Studies in Psychotherapy [On line], Vol. 7 (1). Article 1. Available: http://pcsp.libraries.rutgers.edu/index.php/pcsp/article/view/1068/2522

 

Miller, R. B., Kessler, M.C., Bauer, M., Howell, S., Kreiling, K., and Miller, M. (2011).  Findings of the Panel of Psychological Inquiry Convened at Saint Michael’s College, May 13, 2008: The Case of "Anna." Pragmatic Case Studies in Psychotherapy, Vol. 7(1). Article 6. Available: http://pcsp.libraries.rutgers.edu/index.php/pcsp/article/view/1074/2523

Miller, R. B. (2009). The logic of theory and the logic of practicePragmatic Case Studies in Psychotherapy [Online], Vol. 5 (3), Article 9. Available: http://pcsp.libraries.rutgers.edu/index.php/pcsp/article/view/980.

 

Adams, J.A. and Miller, R.B. (2008). Bridging psychology’s scientist vs. practitioner divide: Fruits of a twenty-five year dialogue. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, 28 (2), 375-394.

 

Miller, R. B. (2006). Round 2B: Facing human sufferingA response to Held. Pragmatic Case Studies in Psychotherapy [Online], Vol. 2(4), Article 4. Available: http://hdl.rutgers.edu/1782.1/pcsp_journal

 

Miller, R. B. (2006b). Round 4b: How Real Is Clinical Wisdom? A Further Reply To Held.  Pragmatic Case Studies in Psychotherapy  [Online], Vol. 2,  (4), Article 7. Available: http://hdl.rutgers.edu/1782.1/pcsp_journal

 

Miller, Ronald B. (2005) Adding supportive evidence and eliminating extraneous biomedical constructs from the psychodynamic case study. Pragmatic Case Studies in Psychotherapy, 1, 3, 1-8. http://pcsp.libraries.rutgers.edu/

 

Miller, Ronald. B. (2005). Suffering in Psychology: The de-moralization of psychotherapeutic practice. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 15, 299-336.

 

Miller, Ronald B. (2004). Facing Human Suffering: Psychology and Psychotherapy as moral engagement. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

 

Miller, Ronald. B. (2001). Scientific vs. clinical-based knowledge in psychology: A concealed moral conflict. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 55, 344-356.

 

Miller, Ronald B. (2000).  Epistemology of practice. In The encyclopedia of psychology (Vol.3, pp. 232-234). New York: Oxford University Press.

 

Miller, Ronald B. (1998) Epistemology and psychotherapy data:  The unspeakable, unbearable, horrible truth.  Clinical Psychology:  Science and Practice, 5, 242-250.

 

Miller, Ronald B. (Ed.) (1992).  The restoration of dialogue:  Readings in the philosophy of clinical psychologyWashington, D.C.:  American Psychological Association.

Miller, Ronald B. (1971).  Violence, force and coercion. In J. Schaefer (Ed.), Violence: Council for Philosophical Studies Award Winning Essays. New York:  David McKay

 

EDITORIAL WORK

 

Editor                                                                                                       2005 - 2008

Editorial Board                                                                                       2009- present

Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology  (published by

Division 24 of the American Psychological Association).

 

Founding Associate Editor                                                                      2004 – to present

            Pragmatic Case Studies in Psychotherapy. Published online by Rutgers University School of Applied and Professional Psychology and Rutgers University Library.

 

Associate and Consulting Editor                                                             1996 -1999

Encyclopedia of Psychology, 8 volumes, APA Books and Oxford University Press,

2000.  Responsible for developing, assigning authors for, and editing 32 articles on the history and philosophy of psychology.

 

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND ACTIVITIES

 

Vermont Board of Psychological Examiners                                             2013- present

Chairperson                                                                                    2015-

 

American Psychological Association - member                                         1977 - present

Divisions 12, 24, 29, 39, 44

Executive Committee Division 24                                             2006-2009                                             

Society for Psychotherapy Research                                                          2007-

Vermont Psychological Association - member                                          1974 - present

Continuing Education Committee                                                  1979 - 1981

Executive Committee                                                                     1981 - 1984

Editor, Vermont Psychologist                                                         1981 - 1984

 

Secretary of State's Office                                                                         1982 - 1985

Licensing Appeals Board (Psychology)

 

LICENSURE


 Registrant                                                                                        August, 1980- present

National Register of Health Care Providers in Psychology.

 

Practicing Psychologist                                                               February, 1977- present

Vermont State Board of Psychological Examiners

License No. 056

Ronald B. Miller, professor of psychology, has written a chapter in a new book published by APA Books in August, 2012. The book is entitled: Humanity's Dark Side: Evil, Destructive Experience, and Psychotherapy, edited by Arthur C. Bohart, PhD; Barbara S. Held, PhD; Edward Mendelowitz, PhD; and Kirk J. Schneider, PhD. Ron’s chapter, is #11, "Deny No Evil, Ignore No Evil, Reframe No Evil: Psychology's Moral Agenda" See more about it on the APA Books Website.

Ron Miller, professor of psychology, has been informed by Governor Peter Shumlin's office of his appointment to the Board of Psychological Examiners for a five-year term, commencing January 1, 2012. This is the board that licenses psychologists for the State, and reviews ethical complaints made by consumers. There are three psychologists and two public members on the Board.


Ronald Miller, professor of psychology at Saint Michael's College, was named to Fellow status in the American Psychological Association, effective September 2012. Dr. Miller is also director of the SMC master's program in clinical psychology, a program he helped found in 1983. He was elected to the Fellows position by the APA Fellows Committee on the recommendation of the APA Board of Directors and APA Council of Representatives. About 6% of the eligible APA membership holds the status of being an APA Fellow.

Miller teaches Theories of Psychotherapy and Personality, Individual Psychotherapy, and Philosophy of Psychology. He is the editor of a major, 650-page scholarly collection titled The Restoration of Dialogue: Readings in the Philosophy of Clinical Psychology, (APA, 1992), which includes several of his essays. He is also the author of Facing Human Suffering: Psychology and Psychotherapy as Moral Engagement  (APA, 2004), and other publications. One of his seminars for first-year undergraduate students focused on the writings of Franz Kafka.

In naming Miller a Fellow of the APA, Dr. Ian Rivers, chair of the APA Fellows Committee, wrote that "Fellow status is awarded in part on the basis of evaluated evidence of outstanding contribution in the field of psychology" and, he noted "this is special recognition by your peers." He added, "The field of psychology is certainly enhanced by your diligent work and commitment, and the public is better served."

About the Saint Michael's College clinical psychology program, Dr. Miller has said, "We have a strong applied/practice orientation, integrating the student's academic experiences with the professional experiences in the field. We also are unique in offering the option of a case study for the culminating major paper."

Dr. Miller, who has published widely, also maintains a private practice in clinical psychology. He and his wife Naomi Shapiro reside in Shelburne. They are the parents of two working adult children, Ari and Maya.

Miller book one cover(1) The Restoration of Dialogue: Readings in the Philosophy of Clinical Psychology (1992) is published by the American Psychological Association. It is an edited collection of papers on the philosophy of psychology that was based upon the readings I had developed in the late 1980's for my graduate seminar at Saint Michael's College, "The Philosophical Foundations of Clinical Psychology." Many of Argosy University's campuses adopted it as a textbook for their History and Systems graduate course. Though out of print, used copies can be found on various book dealer websites, and in several hundred major libraries around the world.

(2)  Facing Human Suffering: Psychology and Psychotherapy as Moral Engagement (2004), is published by the American Psychological Association. It is a theoretical and philosophical work that explores the centrality of the concepts of suffering, clinical knowledge, and psychotherapy as inherently involved in moral discourse. Miller Book two coverBased upon this argument, I call for the clinical case study to be reclaimed as a central form of clinical research in the mental health disciplines since it alone can capture the moral and ethical issues that are central to the clinical practice of psychology, psychiatry, social work, and counseling.

(3) Not So Abnormal Psychology: A Pragmatic View of Mental Illness (NoSAP),  published by the American Psychological Association, is intended as both a text for a first course in abnormal psychology or psychopathology and  as an introduction to the subject for the general reader. It presents the reader with an intellectually coherent understanding of psychological suffering and the means we have as a discipline for helping others and ourselves to overcome the more crippling forms of that suffering.

Editors and Reviewers Comments

"Each year, tens of thousands of students across the country enroll in abnormal psychology courses. The majority of these students are taught that mental Miller Book three coverillnesses are genetically-determined malfunctions in the brain, that the American Psychiatric Association's DSM-5 is the primary means of diagnosis and assessment, and that psychotropic medications and cognitive-behavioral interventions are the only scientifically appropriate tools for symptom management.

In this warm and deeply personal text, author Ronald B. Miller offers students a different approach. Starting with his own professional and personal search for meaning as a young scholar, Miller guides readers through a historical tour of alternative conceptualizations and treatments for psychological problems. Across a comprehensive range of mental illnesses, including developmental disorders, anxiety, depression, personality disorders and schizophrenia, he reviews theoretical bases, methods of diagnosis and assessment, and treatments that have long produced successful outcomes, yet have too often been denigrated or ignored by proponents of the dominant approaches to mental health care.

A much-needed critical examination of reigning orthodoxies, such as our tendency to pathologize psychological difficulties and to downplay or ignore subjective experiences of human suffering, this text offers a pragmatic and compassionate approach that can revolutionize readers' understanding of abnormal psychology."

-APA Books

It is difficult to imagine that any textbook in abnormal psychology would more deeply satisfy earnest, intelligent students or better remind clinicians and educators of their own reasons for entering the profession. Miller draws on a distinctive amalgam of existential and analytic philosophies and many years of clinical seasoning to offer a text unlike any other. Highly informative and intellectually rigorous, this book is also a testament to the epistemological and pedagogical value of case study in psychology.
Lisa M. Osbeck, PhD, Professor of Psychology, University of West Georgia, Carrollton

At long last, an abnormal psychology text that tells the whole story. In Not So Abnormal Psychology, prominent clinical psychologist Ronald B. Miller says that his “unabashed goal is for readers to both know more about abnormal psychology as a subdiscipline of psychology proper and to know more about themselves and the people they care about.” He makes good on his uncommon promise, without short-shrifting up-to-date psychological, neuropsychological, and biomedical research. The contextualized nature of “psychological suffering” is itself situated in a highly accessible philosophical context that brings to life the underlying complexities that have permeated its scientific study historically and now. I regret that this uniquely engaging and informative book was not available during my 35 years of teaching abnormal and clinical psychology.
Barbara S. Held, PhD, Barry N. Wish Professor of Psychology and Social Studies, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME; author of Back to Reality and Psychology’s Interpretive Turn

If you are searching for a broadly humanistic approach to understanding and treating psychopathology<em>your own and that of others<em>you have arrived at your destination with this thought-provoking volume. It is at the same time disarmingly personal, philosophically rich, and highly attuned to the life stage concerns and angst of the college student. Decrying the current emphasis on behavioral and biomedically based theory and intervention, Miller points the field towards an integration of humanistic, psychodynamic, and family systems approaches to describing and treating emotional pain and suffering. This is a clinically wise and engaging book that will have great personal appeal especially to undergraduates studying abnormal psychology.
Stanley B. Messer, PhD, Dean and Distinguished Professor, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ

Miller’s approach to abnormal psychology is as personal as it is practical. Students of psychology will learn not only about the lived experience of troubled minds and human suffering but also about the pain and wonder of their own existence.
Brent Slife, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT

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