Bowdoin’s Barbara Held Honored by American Psychological Foundation

Barbara Held

Barbara Held


Barbara Held, Bowdoin’s Barry N. Wish Professor of Psychology and Social Studies, has been awarded the American Psychological Foundation’s prestigious Joseph B. Gittler Award in recognition of “the most scholarly contributions to the philosophical foundations of psychological knowledge.”

In posting news of this honor on its website, the APF noted Held’s two sole-authored scholarly books, Back to Reality: A Critique of Postmodern Theory in Psychotherapy (1995) and Psychology’s Interpretive Turn: The Search for Truth and Agency in Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology (2007), as well as her co-edited book Humanity’s Dark Side: Evil, Destructive Experience, and Psychotherapy (2012), in which, along with her popular book Stop Smiling, Start Kvetching (2001), she challenges core tenets of the positive psychology movement.

Each Gittler Award recipient, says the APF, has  “demonstrated transformative contributions to the philosophical foundations of psychology.” Prior winners include Jerome Bruner of New York University, Daniel Kahneman of Princeton University, Daniel Robinson of Oxford University, and Louis Sass of Rutgers University.


  1. Jean Moore says:

    Something reminded me of you today and googled you to see if you were still at Bowdoin. Congratulations on winning the Joseph B Gittler Award! 3 years ago I sold my house in Bath and moved to west Virginia. I live in a small, but cultural town called Lewisburg. It’s very “Mayberry” like. I would say I like it here and am happy here. I have a brother that lives nearby. Just wanted to say Hi and I hope you and David are well. All my best, Jean Moore

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