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.
Ph.D. University of Vermont
B.A., Oberlin College
Areas of Expertise:
Theoretical and philosophical psychology; psychological suffering (psychopathology); intensive psychotherapy.
Courses I Teach:
- Abnormal Psychology
- Personality Theories
- Senior Seminar in History and Issues
- Introduction to Clinical Interventions I & II (graduate)
- 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.
Ronald B. Miller
Saint Michael’s College Winooski Park Colchester, VT 05439
Date of Birth: July 29, 1948
Place of Birth: Buffalo, New York
Marital Status: Married with three children
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,
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
Professor 1998 – present
Department of Psychology
Saint Michael’s College
Associate Professor 1989 – 1997
Saint Michael’s College
Assistant Professor 1984 – 1989
Saint Michael’s College
Director 1985 – present
Graduate Program in Clinical Psychology
Saint Michael’s College
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). Humanity’s 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 practice. Pragmatic 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 suffering—A 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 psychology. Washington, 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
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 -1999Encyclopedia 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
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)
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 Miller, professor of psychology at Saint Michael’s and director of the master’s program in clinical psychology, in early August, 2020, presented a paper entitled: ‘Eupractice:’ as an Antidote to Best Practices” for a symposium sponsored by Division 1 (General Psychology) of the American Psychological Association (APA), a paper which was co-listed in the program by 10 other divisions of the organization. The symposium was entitled “Toward an Ethically Sustainable World: General, Theoretical, Environmental, and Societal Perspectives.” “Eupractice,” Ron explains, is a term that he has created to refer to morally good professional practices, in this instance in clinical psychology. Also, the documentary film on mental illness in Quebec for which Ron was interviewed last year was supposed to be released in April, 2020, but has apparently been delayed due to COVID-19, he said.
(posted February 2021)
Ron Miller of the Saint Michael’s psychology faculty and director of its master’s program in clinical psychology had positive career news recently. He writes: “Just before COVID-19 sent us off campus, I accepted an invitation from AMI- Quebec (Action on Mental Illness) and the Concordia University’s psychology department to give the “Low-Beer Memorial Lecture for 2020” on the evening of October 8, 2020 and then to offer a psychiatry department grand rounds lecture at the McGill University Health Center on October 9. I am looking forward to both lectures which will draw on the views expressed in my 2015 book, Not So Abnormal Psychology: A Pragmatic View of Mental Illness, now in its second printing through APA Books.” Last year a Canadian documentary filmmaker, Catherine Mullins, came to campus to interview Ron for several hours on his views on how to develop mental health programs that could change the devastating outcomes experienced by many young people who are diagnosed with “serious mental disorders” and seem to never recover enough to lead independent lives. He says the film should be out this spring/summer, but had been previewed by the director of AMI-Quebec, Ella Amir, PhD, “and she apparently was interested enough in what I had to say in that interview to invite me to give the talks.”
(posted June 2020)
Ron Miller, professor of psychology and director of the Master’s Program in Clinical Psychology and also an APA Fellow and licensed psychologist, presented at two professional gatherings in June: On June 1, Ron attended the Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration 34th Annual Meeting in New York City, participating in the” Symposium: Using Qualitative Case Study Methods to Assess Causality and Outcome in Psychotherapy,” and presenting a paper, “Further developments in the panel of psychological inquiry: Evaluating an integrative dynamic treatment of autism in a two year-old boy.” On Friday, June 15, 2018, Ron was a presenter for a six-hour continuing education workshop for the Vermont Psychological Association: “The Threat of Magisterial Science to the Socially Responsible Practice of Psychology–and What You can Do About It” (Presented in the Pomerleau Conference Room at Saint Michael’s).
(posted January 2019)
In February 2016, a 2015 book titled Not So Abnormal Psychology: A Pragmatic View of Mental Illness by Ronald B. Miller, professor of psychology, received an Honorable Mention (2nd place) in 2016 PROSE Award in the category Best New Textbook in the Social Sciences. The PROSE Awards annually recognize “the very best in professional and scholarly publishing by bringing attention to distinguished books, journals, and electronic content in 54 categories.” The PROSE Awards are sponsored by the Professional and Scientific Publishers of the American Association of Publishers (AAP). The first place award went to Causal Inference for Statistics, Social, and Biomedical Sciences: An Introduction by Guido W. Imbens (Stanford University) and Donald B. Rubin (Harvard University), published by Cambridge University Press.
Recent favorable book reviews of Ron’s book included the following: The first published in PsyCRITIQUES, February 3, 2016 by Robert Bischoff, Ph.D., concluded: “I would strongly recommend this book to all practitioners…There is something to offer to all theoretical perspectives, fare for the history aficionados, and a practical quality to a level of theoretical thinking and application that is often missing in thicker tomes. The price is a bargain, it is quite readable, and you get both stories for the same price.” The second by Maura Pilotti, Ph.D., appeared in Metapsychology Online Reviews May 10, 2016, and concluded: “My advice to individuals interested in the field of abnormal psychology, including seasoned clinicians, students, and laypersons who are consumers of therapies, is to read with an open mind the well-written and engaging narrative of Not So Abnormal Psychology. They will discover a book that challenges them to think of the field of abnormal psychology critically, thereby identifying its current strengths and weaknesses.”
(Posted August 2016)
Ron Miller, professor of psychology presented “Mental Illness in the 21st Century: Brain Disorders of Moral Injury” at the Saint Michael’s College Psychology Department Colloquium, February 16, 2016. Later in the year, Ron presented the Keynote address at the MetroHealth County Hospital, Cleveland Ohio, May 20, 2016, Conference title: “The Evolution of Personhood: Implications for the Helping Professions.” Address entitled: Suffering, Meaning, and the Integration of the Self.” Ron also published an article, “ Healthcare as a Moral Practice,” in Special Issue: Conceptual Issues in Health and Society. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, 36, (2), May, 2016. And, he continues to serve for the second year as Chairperson of The Vermont Board of Psychological Examiners as a gubernatorial appointment.
(posted August 2016)
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.
(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. Based 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 illnesses 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.”
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 biomedical 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