The Words Matter Podcast with Oliver Thomson

Dr Oliver Thomson talks with clinical psychologist and psychotherapist Tobias Gustum Lindstad about dispositionalism for psychotherapy for The Words Matter Podcast CauseHealth Series.

Show Notes

Welcome to another episode of The Words Matter Podcast.

In this episode of the CauseHealth Series, I’m speaking with Tobias Gustum Lindstad about Chapter 12 that he wrote for the CauseHealth book titled “The Relevance of Dispositionalism for Psychotherapy and Psychotherapy Research” (read chapter 12 here).
Tobias is a Clinical Psychologist both within secondary public mental healthcare and community-based primary care services, as well as in private practice. His research concerns the relevance of philosophy for psychology, psychotherapy research and mental healthcare.
He is the main Editor of the book Respect for Thought: Jan Smedslund’s Legacy for Psychology, coedited with Erik Stänicke and Jaan Valsiner, published by Springer (here).

So on this episode we talk about:
  • The relationship between evidence (EBP) and psychological practice.
  • The sort of evidence that is prioritised and the prevailing philosophical assumptions around knowledge and psychological healthcare.
  • His criticisms of the value of the RCTs for generating knowledge which is meaningful for psychological practice, in particular being able to account for the unique meanings, experiences and perspectives that people have, and he likens this to what he calls ‘the medical pill model’ where psychological care is tested in the same way as a medical pill might be tested in an RCT.
  • We talk about the problem of standardisation in psychological care and research.
  • He tells me why Humeanism must be Replaced by dispositionalism in relation to causality in psychology.
  • Finally, Tobias outline the major implications of dispositionalism for psychotherapy practice, including methodological pluralism, causal singularism, avoiding pseudo-empirical research and advancing the theoretical integration of psychotherapy perspectives.
So I really enjoyed talking to Tobias. It is clear he has thought very deeply about these important problems within clinical psychology and contributes wonderfully to the argument of how dispositionalism may go some way, if not all the way to addressing these fundamental issues in evidence-based psychological care.

So I bring you Tobias Gustum Lindstad.

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What is The Words Matter Podcast with Oliver Thomson?

The Words Matter Podcast brings you insights, reflections and conversations focused on the latest evidence, theory, philosophy and practice of communication-focused healthcare.

Find out about the more tacit, 'softer' and personal side of clinical practice such as the role of philosophy, beliefs, behaviours, developing therapeutic relationships or the purposeful use of language with people experiencing pain from expert academics, clinicians and researchers from across the world and spanning the musculoskeletal disciplines. This podcast will help you reflect on your own current practice and inform and stimulate you to consider new ways of approaching your practice and patients, to create a better clinical experience and outcomes in people with musculoskeletal pain.

Hosted by Dr Oliver Thomson PhD, an osteopath and Associate Professor who is passionate about researching and educating clinicians on a revised narrative, communication and biopsychosocial approach to musculoskeletal therapy. If you like the podcast, subscribe and check out the online learning and resources at

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