My research examines the construction, transmission, and legitimation of knowledge in the field of mental health. I am working on a book, tentatively titled Managing the Self: Professional Vision and Uncertainty in Psychotherapy, that examines how psychiatry residents learn to doctor psychotherapeutically. The book argues that the residents must manage epistemic and professional friction, and that they do so partly through performances of skepticism and, later, of competence.
A second project, The Science of Talk, is organized around two complementary questions: first, how did methods for establishing the efficacy of pharmaceutical interventions, namely randomized controlled trials, come to characterize research about the efficacy of talk therapy? and second, how has this regime of evidence impacted power struggles and clinical work in the field? I draw on a variety of documentary, institutional, and observational data to examine how notions of "evidence" and "efficacy" have changed in talk therapeutic research, shifting the fortunes of two competing camps: those (self-)identified as "evidence-based" or "empirically-supported" conducting cognitive behavioral psychotherapy and those aligned with psychoanalytic ideas and techniques.
Craciun Mariana. 2019. “The place of therapy: Between lab and field in the psychoanalytic office.” Sociology of Health and Illness. 41(8): 1652-1666.
Craciun, Mariana. 2018. “Emotions and knowledge in expert work: A comparison of two psychotherapies.” American Journal of Sociology. 123(4): 959-1003. (Lead Article)
Craciun, Mariana. 2017. “Time, knowledge, and power in psychotherapy: A comparison of psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral practices.” Qualitative Sociology. 20(2): 165-190.
Craciun, Mariana. 2016. “The cultural work of office charisma: Maintaining professional power in psychotherapy.” Theory and Society. 45(4): 361-383.