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My recent work addresses our personal role in constructing our beliefs and understanding. Incorporating perspectives from Eastern and Western psychology and philosophy, I discuss the liberating potential of liberal arts education, psychotherapy, and meditation in helping us attend to our active participation in creating meaning. 

My research and scholarship take place within the field of constructivist psychology, which relates convivially with social constructionism and some other post-modern perspectives. 

My main current areas of research and scholarship address several interrelated themes: Personal Construct Psychology (PCP), Zen meditation and Buddhist Psychology, and the broader implications of a constructivist, post-modern perspective on psychology and human knowledge.

 

A list of my publications and presentations follows (as of May 27, 2014). 

2010-present

McWilliams, S. A. (in press).  History of psychology (20th Century).  In J. D. Wright (Ed.).  International encyclopedia of social & behavioral sciences IESBS(2nd Ed.)  Kidlington, Oxford, UK:  Elsevier.

McWilliams, S. A. (2014, in press).  Personal construct psychology and Buddhism.  In D. Winter & N. Reed (Eds.). Wiley-Blackwell handbook of personal construct psychology.  Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

McWilliams, S. A. (2014, July). Shaking the very foundation: The seduction of certainty vs. the menace of meaning making. Paper to be presened at the 16th biennial conference of the Constructivist Psychology Network / 1st Congress on the Construction of Personal Meaning, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

McWilliams, S. A. (2014).  Foundations of mindfulness and contemplation: Traditional and contemporary perspectives.  International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 12 (2), 116-128.  DOI 10.1007/s11469-014-9486-1.

McWilliams, S. A. (2013). Myriad musings on a multidimensional manifesto.  Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 26 (3), 161-163.
 
McWilliams, S. A. (2013). A 21st Century personal construct psychology upgradeJournal of Constructivist Psychology, 26 (3), 164-171.

McWilliams, S. A. (2013). Fay Fransella: A Passionate, Productive MentorJournal of Constructivist Psychology, 26 (1), 16-20.

McWilliams, S. A. (2012, July). A PCP resto-mod: Upgrading Kelly's theory for the 21st Century. In S. A. McWilliams (chair). Myriad meditations on a meritorious manifesto: Rue L. Cromwell's Being human: Human being. Symposium presented at the 15th biennial conference of the Constructivist Psychology Network, Arlington, Texas.

McWilliams, S. A. (2012, July). Creative photography: A picture taken or an image construed? Paper presented at the 15th biennial conference of the Constructivist Psychology Network, Arlington, Texas.

McWilliams, S. A. (2012). Mindfulness and extending constructivist psychotherapy integration. Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 25 (3), 230-250.

McWilliams, S. A. (2012).  Emptying the constructed self: Integrating mindfulness, awareness, acceptance and constructivist psychotherapy.  In M. Giliberto, C. Dell'Aversano, & F. Velicogna (Eds.).  PCP and Constructivism: Ways of Working, Learning and Living (pp. 24-40). Florence, Italy: Libri Liberi.

McWilliams, S. A. (2011). What are you taking a picture of?”: Constructivist psychology and the photographic imageInternational Journal of the Image, 1 (4), 153-172.

McWilliams, S. A. (2011, July).  Embracing fading truths: Reaffirming a process ontology.  Paper presented at the 19th International Congress on Personal Construct Psychology, Boston, Massachusetts.

McWilliams, S. A. (2011, July).  Apparently effortless effectiveness: Fay Fransella’s passionate productivity and marvelous mentoring.  In D. Winter (Chair).  Remembering the life and work of Fay Fransella.  Symposium presented at the 19th International Congress on Personal Construct Psychology, Boston, Massachusetts.

McWilliams, S. A. (2011). Contemplating a contemporary constructivist Buddhist psychology.  [Review of New horizons in Buddhist psychology: Relational Buddhism for collaborative practitioners.]  Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 24 (3), 268-276.

McWilliams, S. A. (2011). Better constructs can always emerge. [Review of Being human: Human being – Manifesto for a new psychology.] Personal Construct Theory & Practice, 8, 7-10.

McWilliams, S. A. (2010).  Foundations of mindfulness: An introduction to Buddhist psychology.  APA Online Professional Development Course.  Washington, DC:  American Psychological Association.

McWilliams, S. A. (2010).  Historical precursors to postmodern psychology.  APA Online Professional Development Course.  Washington, DC:  American Psychological Association.

McWilliams, S. A. (2010, July).  Mindfulness and extending constructivist psychology integration.  Paper presented at the 14th Biennial Conference of the Constructivist Psychology Network, Niagara Falls, New York.

McWilliams, S. A. (2010).  Inherent self, invented self, empty self: Constructivism, Buddhism, and psychotherapy.  Counseling and Values, 55, 79-100. 

McWilliams, S. A. (2010). The varieties of meaning-making experience.  [Review of Studies in Meaning 4:  Constructivist perspectives on theory, practice, and social justice.]     Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 23 (3), 261-266.

2000-2009

McWilliams, S. A. (2009). William James’ pragmatism and personal construct psychologyPersonal Construct Theory & Practice, 6, 109-118. 

McWilliams, S. A. (2009). Interdependence, essence, and conventional reality: Middle way Buddhist and constructivist perspectives.  In L. M. Leitner & J. C. Thomas (Eds.).  Personal constructivism: Theory and applications (pp. 365-383).  New York: Pace University Press.

McWilliams, S. A. (2009).  Taking pictures versus making art: A personal construal of creative photography.  Personal Construct Theory & Practice. 6, 21-33.

McWilliams, S. A. (2009, July).  Emptying the constructed self: Integrating mindfulness, awareness, and acceptance with constructivist psychotherapies.  Paper presented at the 18th International Congress on Personal Construct Psychology, Venice, Italy.

McWilliams, S. A. (2009, July). The trail of the human serpent: James’ pragmatism and personal construct psychology.  In T. Butt (Chair).  Personal Construct Theory’s Roots in pragmatism.  Symposium presented at the 18th International Congress on Personal Construct Psychology, Venice, Italy.

McWilliams, S. A. (2008). Ontological acceleration and human agencyPersonal Construct Theory & Practice, 5, 60-67.

McWilliams, S. A. (2008, June).  Truth as trophy: Gorgias’ Sophism, constructivism, and social constructionism.  Paper presented at the 13th Biennial Conference of the Constructivist Psychology Network, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. 

McKinley, V. & McWilliams, S. A. (2007).  Assessment through the senior letter.  In T. W. Banta (Ed.).Assessing student learning in the disciplines(pp. 63-67).  New York: Jossey-Bass. 

McWilliams, S. A. (2007, July).  Constructivist Psychology and Zen Buddhism.  Workshop presented at the 17th International Congress on Personal Construct Psychology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

McWilliams, S. A. (2007, July). Ontological acceleration and human agency.  Paper presented at the 17th International Congress on Personal Construct Psychology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

McWilliams, S. A.  (2006, July).  Constructive-isms: A conversation on some constructivist contexts.  Paper presented at the 12th Biennial Conference of the Constructivist Psychology Network, San Marcos, California.

McWilliams, S. A. (2005, July).  Fabricating emptiness: Zen Buddhism and constructivist psychology.  Workshop presented at the 16th International Congress on Personal Construct Psychology, Columbus, Ohio.

McWilliams, S. A. (2005, July).  The middle way and conventional reality.  Paper presented at the 16th International Congress on Personal Construct Psychology, Columbus, Ohio. 

McWilliams, S. A.  (2004). On further reflectionPersonal Construct Theory & Practice, 1, 1-7

McWilliams, S. A.  (2004). Constructive alternativism and self.  In J.D. Raskin & S.K. Bridges (Eds). Studies in meaning 2: Bridging the personal and social in constructivist psychology (pp. 291-309). New York: Pace University Press.

McWilliams, S. A. (2004, June).  Impermanence, emptiness, and dependent origination: Buddhist concepts and constructivist theory.  Workshop presented at The 11th Biennial Conference of the North American Personal Construct Network, Memphis, Tennessee.

McWilliams, S. A. (2003). Belief, attachment, and awareness.  In F. Fransella (Ed.) International handbook of personal construct psychology (pp. 75-82).  London: Wiley. 

McWilliams, S. A. (2003, July).  Reflecting on Constructive Alternativism.  Paper presented at the 15th International Congress on Personal Construct Psychology, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom. 

McWilliams, S. A. (2002, July).  Constructive Alternativism: Searching for the Core.  Paper presented at the 10th Biennial Conference of the North American Personal Construct Network, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. 

McWilliams, S. A.  (2001, May).  What is your education worth?   Commencement address (Alvin Community College & University of Houston—Clear Lake), Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Darlington Unit, Rosharon, Texas.

McWilliams, S. A. & McWilliams, M. J.  (2000, March).  Student attitudes toward their role as students.  Paper presented at the 11th Annual Teaching Academic Survival Skills conference, West Palm Beach, Florida. 

McWilliams, S. A.  (2000, February).  Self image in ordinary mind Zen.  Presentation to the Transpersonal Psychology Association, University of Houston--Clear Lake, Houston, Texas. 

McWilliams, S. A. (2000).  Core constructs and ordinary mind Zen.  In J. W. Scheer (Ed.) The person in society: Challenges to a constructivist theory (pp. 261-271). Giessen (Germany): Psychosozial-Verlag.

1990-1999

McWilliams, S. A.  (1999, July).  Construing contemplation.  In J. R. Forster & S. A. McWilliams (Chairs).  Constructive construing of meditation.  Symposium presented at the 13th International Congress on Personal Construct Psychology, Berlin, Germany.

McWilliams, S. A.  (1999, February).  Liberal arts education: What does it mean? What is it worth?  Lyceum Presentation, San Jacinto College—South, Pearland, Texas.

McWilliams, S. A.  (1997). Contemplative engagement at home and abroadProceedings of the 14th Annual International Conference of the International Partnership for Service Learning, 29-32.

McWilliams, S. A.  (1997, February).  Contemplative engagement at home and abroad.  Poster session presented at the 14th annual international conference of the Partnership for Service Learning, Kingston, Jamaica. 

McWilliams, S. (1996). Sites at Boulder Creek Path (poem). Cumulonimbus: The Naropa Summer Writing Program Magazine, 91.

McWilliams, S. A.  (1996, July).  A contemplative approach to higher education Paper presented at the conference “Teaching From Within,” Blue Sky Associates, Northfield, Minnesota.

McWilliams, S. A.  (1996). Accepting the invitational.  In B. E. Walker, J. Costigan, L. L. Viney, & W. Warren (Eds.). Personal construct theory: A psychology for the future (pp. 57-78).  Melbourne: Australian Psychological Society (APS Imprint Books). 

McWilliams, S. A.  (1994).Constructing a story of life's mission..  [Review of The sense of vocation: A study of career and life development.Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 7 (1), 67-71.

McWilliams, S. A.  (1994, September).  An ethos for transcending Babel.  Paper presented to the 16th Annual Conference of the Association for Integrative Studies, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

McWilliams, S. A.  (1993, November).  Service learning within a liberal arts triad.  In M. L. Grant (Chair) Community service learning initiatives.  Symposium presented at the 21st Annual Deans Institute of the Council of Independent Colleges, San Diego, California.

McWilliams, S. A.  (1993, October).  Diverse voices and an ethos for public conversation.  Paper presented at the 33rd Annual Conference of the Association for General and Liberal Studies, Memphis, Tennessee.

McWilliams, S. A.  (1993, July).  I accept, with pleasure, the invitation(al) Plenary session paper presented at the 10th International Congress on Personal Construct Psychology, Townsville, Queensland, Australia.

McWilliams, S. A.  (1993). The sacred way of liberal artsJournal of General Education, 42 (4), 255-269.

McWilliams, S. A.  (1993). Construct no idolsInternational Journal of Personal Construct Psychology, 6 (3) 269-280.

McWilliams, S. A.  (1993). Indeterminacy and the construction of personal knowledge.  Tradition and Discovery: The Polanyi Society Periodical, 19 (2), 5-11.

McKinley, V. & McWilliams, S. A.  (1992). Assessment through the senior letter.  Assessment Update: Progress, Trends, and Practices in Higher Education, 4 (6), 9-11.

McWilliams, S. A. (1992). Turning ground into figure.  [Review of Gestalt reconsidered: A new approach to contact and resistance.]  Contemporary Psychology, 37 (7), 640-641.

McWilliams, S. A.  (1992). Fostering sociality: Techniques for improving marital role relationships.  [Review of Enhancing marital intimacy through facilitating cognitive self-disclosure.International Journal of Personal Construct Psychology, 5 (1), 113-116.

McWilliams, S. A.  (1992, November).  Seeking unity within diversity.  Paper presented at the 14th Annual Conference of the Association for Integrative Studies, Pomona, California.

McWilliams, S. A.  (1991, October).  Reflections on the church of the liberal arts.  Paper presented at the 31st Annual Convention of the Association for General and Liberal Studies, Seattle, Washington.

McWilliams, S. A. (1991, August).  Make for yourself no idol.  Paper presented at the 9th International Congress on Personal Construct Psychology, Albany, New York.

McWilliams, S. A. (1991, April).  Indeterminacy, possibility, and commitment in personal knowing.  Paper presented at the conference, "From Polanyi to the 21st Century: A Centennial Celebration," Kent, Ohio.

McWilliams, S. A.  (1991). Interdisciplinary study at Warren Wilson College.  Association for Integrative Studies Newsletter, 13 (2), 12.

McWilliams, S. A. (1990, November).  Belief, value, and the fundamental impulse.  Paper presented at the 12th Annual Conference of the Association for Integrative Studies, Manchester, New Hampshire.

McWilliams, S. A.  (1990, September).  Senior letter as an assessment tool.  Paper presented at the University of Kentucky Faculty Scholars Program Conference "General Education in Liberal Arts Colleges: Assessing Student Outcomes," Lexington, Kentucky.

McWilliams, S. A. (1990, September).  Mission statement, process indicators, and institutional planning.  Paper presented at the University of Kentucky Faculty Scholars Program Conference "General Education in Liberal Arts Colleges: Assessing Student Outcomes," Lexington, Kentucky.

McWilliams, S. A. (1990).  What is the value of education?  Owl and Spade (Warren Wilson College Alumni Magazine), 66 (4), 4.

1980-1989

McWilliams, S. A. (1989).  Liberal education and the anarchist insight.  Perspectives: Journal of the Association for General and Liberal Studies, 19 (3), 45-50.

McWilliams, S. A.  (1989). The nature of a liberal arts education.  Winthrop Magazine, 1 (4), 6, 29.

McWilliams, S. A.  (1989, October).  Liberal education and the anarchist insight.  Paper presented at the 29th Annual Convention of the Association for General and Liberal Studies, Indianapolis, Indiana.

McWilliams, S. A. (1989, August).  The value of an education:  Is there any number greater than 100?  Convocation address, Warren Wilson College, Asheville, North Carolina.

McWilliams, S. A. (1988).  On becoming a personal anarchist. In F. Fransella & L. Thomas (Eds.) Experimenting with personal construct psychology (pp. 17-25).  London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

McWilliams, S. A. (1988). Construing comprehensivelyInternational Journal of Personal Construct Psychology, 1, 219-228.

McWilliams, S. A. (1987).  A comprehensivist approach to general education. Perspectives: Journal of the Association for General and Liberal Studies, 17, (1) 39-46.

McWilliams, S. A. (1987, August).  Construing comprehensively.  Paper presented at the 7th International Congress on Personal Construct Psychology, Memphis, Tennessee.

McWilliams, S. A. (1986, October).  A comprehensivist approach to general education.  Paper presented at the 26th Annual Convention of the Association for General and Liberal Studies, Snowbird, Utah.

McWilliams, S. A. (1985, August).  On becoming a personal anarchist.  Paper presented at the 6th International Congress on Personal Construct Psychology, Cambridge, England.

McWilliams, S. A. (1984).  Construing and Buddhist psychologyConstructs (Journal of the Centre for Personal Construct Psychology, London), 3 (1), 1-2.

McWilliams, S. A. (1983, July).  Construing and nirvana.  Paper presented at the 5th International Congress on Personal Construct Psychology, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.

McWilliams, S. A. (1981, July).  Explorations in the psychology of science.  Paper presented at the 4th International Congress on Personal Construct Psychology, St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada.

McWilliams, S. A. (1981). Eclecticism: Comprehension or jumble?  [Review of Principles of eclectic psychotherapy.]  Contemporary Psychology, 26, 301.

1970-1979

McWilliams, S. A. (1979). Psychological helpers:  Paraprofessionals and peers.  Colloquium presented at: The Max-Planck Institute, Munich, West Germany, (July), Crichton Royal Hospital, Dumfries, Scotland, (November).

McWilliams, S. A. (1979, July).  Emotional expression and construct transition.  Paper Presented at the 3rd International Congress on Personal Construct Psychology, Breukelen, The Netherlands.

McWilliams, S. A. (1979).  Effects of reciprocal peer counseling on college student personality development.  Journal of the American College Health Association, 27, 210-213.

Beaver, W., Buck, F. M., & McWilliams, S. A. (1979).  Issues in replicating the trauma-stren conversion.  American Journal of Community Psychology, 7, 129-136.

McWilliams, S. A., Lewis, S. B., Balch, P., & Ireland, J. (1979).  Sample bias in questionnaire completion at a community mental health center.  American Journal of Community Psychology, 7, 107-110.

McWilliams, S. A. & Gerber, K. E. (1978).  A comprehensive mental health epidemiology survey of a university population.  Journal of College Student Personnel, 19, 128-131.

Balch, P., McWilliams, S. A., Lewis, S., & Ireland, J. (1978). Clients' treatment expectations at a community mental health center.  American Journal of Community Psychology, 6, 105-114.

Balch, P., Ireland, J., McWilliams, S. A., & Lewis, S. B. (1977).  Client evaluation of mental health services:  Relation to demographic and treatment variables.  American Journal of Community Psychology, 5, 243-248.

McWilliams, S. A. & Lewis, S. B. (1976).  Community mental health ideology and activity interest.  American Journal of Community Psychology, 4, 351-355.

Kahn, M. W., McWilliams, S. A., Balch, P., Chang, A. F., & Ireland, J. (1976).  Developing a rural mental health service from a base in an academic clinical psychology program.  American Journal of Community Psychology, 4, 113-127.

Balch, P., Lewis, S., McWilliams, S. A., & Ireland, J. (1976, September).  Clients' treatment expectations at a community mental health center.  Paper presented at the meeting of the American Psychological Association, Washington, D. C.

Balch, P. & McWilliams, S. A. (1975, April).  Training program evaluators through a graduate practicum in community psychology.  Paper presented at the meeting of the Western Psychological Association, Sacramento, California.

McWilliams, S. A. (1975).  Use of census data to assess community mental health services.  Hospital and Community Psychiatry, 26, 720-725.

Balch, P. & McWilliams, S. A. (1975).  Community-based program evaluation through a graduate practicum in community psychology.  Professional Psychology, 6, 331-336.

McWilliams, S. A. & Tuttle, R. J. (1974). Long term psychological effects of LSD.  Psychiatry Digest, 35, 32.

McWilliams, S. A. & Morris, L. A. (1974).  Community attitudes about mental health services.  Community Mental Health Journal, 10, 236-242.

McWilliams, S. A.  (1974, August).  Planning a community mental health clinic through a graduate practicum in community psychology.  In C. D. Spielberger (Chair), Developing a rural community mental health service from a base in an academic clinical psychology program.  Symposium presented at the meeting of the American Psychological Association, New Orleans, Louisiana.

McWilliams, S. A.  (1974, April).  Evaluating a community mental health center:  Problems, pitfalls, and solutions.  In L. A. Morris (Chair), Evaluation in the informal environment: Problems, pitfalls, and solutions.  Symposium presented at the meeting of the Western Psychological Association, San Francisco, California.

McWilliams, S. A. & Tuttle, R. J. (1973). Long term psychological effects of LSDPsychological Bulletin, 79, 341-351.

McWilliams, S. A. & Underwood, M. (1973).  The Health Opinion Survey as a self-report epidemiological instrument. Journal of Community Psychology, 1, 335-338.

Cowen, E. L., Dorr, D., Clarfield, S., Kreling, B., McWilliams, S. A., Pokracki, F., Pratt, D. M., Terrell, D., & Wilson, A. (1973). The AML: A quick-screening device for early identification of school maladaptation. American Journal of Community Psychology, 1, 12-35.

McWilliams, S. A. & Finkel, N. J. (1973).  High School students as mental health aides in the elementary school setting. Mental Health Digest, 5, 41-43.

McWilliams, S. A. & Finkel, N. J. (1973).  High school students as mental health aides in the elementary school setting.  Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 40, 39-42.

McWilliams, S. A.  (1973, April).  A brief, self-report epidemiological instrument.  Paper presented at the meeting of the Western Psychological Association, Anaheim, California.

McWilliams, S. A.  (1972, April).  Interaction processes between nonprofessional child-aides and elementary school children.  Paper presented at the meeting of the Western Psychological Association, Portland, Oregon.

McWilliams, S. A. (1972).  A process analysis of nonprofessional intervention with children.  Journal of School Psychology, 10, 267-377.

McWilliams, S. A.  (1972). A process analysis of a school based mental health program.  Dissertation Abstracts International, 33, 918B. (University Microfilms No. ADG72-18825)

Terrell, D. L., McWilliams, S. A., & Cowen, E. L. (1972).  Description and evaluation of group-work training for nonprofessional child-aides in a school mental health program.  Psychology in the Schools, 9, 70-75.

Cowen, E. L., Dorr, D., Sandler, I., & McWilliams, S. A. (1971). Utilization of a nonprofessional child-aide school mental health program.  Journal of School Psychology, 9, 131-136.

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