Bob Barkley & Behavioral Dentistry

Build your relationships first….then your dentistry. ~ Bob Barkley

Bob Barkley & Behavioral Dentistry

Posted on

“Behavioral Dentistry” was first pioneered by L.D. Pankey after meeting Carl Jung, studying under George Crane, PhD, and through his study of hundreds of books dedicated to human behavior and differences in personality and motivation.

Bob Barkley then took what he had learned from Dr. Pankey in a new direction. One of Bob’s main influencers was Nathan Kohn Jr., PhD, a psychologist with additional degrees in Law, and Divinity. Nate was an ideal sounding board for Bob at the time, as his broad knowledge base allowed the facilitation of many meaningful discussions in almost every direction.

These explorations with Nate Kohn, Jr. helped Bob to further define his personal expression of Dr. Pankey’s “Cross of Dentistry” – which identified four areas of essential focus:

1. Know Yourself
2. Know Your Patient
3. Know Your Work
4. Apply Your Knowledge

Bob worked diligently in all four areas, but he is best known for his pioneering work in Co-discovery which he used to better understand patient needs, desires, and values. From there, Bob was able to more effectively communicate with patients, which then led them toward making better, health-centered choices over time.

Nate Kohn Jr. told Bob that each patient has a “hidden desire” to take better care of themselves, but that desire may become entangled and almost unidentifiable to them due to past experiences, distorted memories, and family and cultural influences.

Nate tasked Bob with facilitating the self-discovery of each patient’s desire to keep their teeth and possess a healthy, fully functional, and attractive mouth and smile.

To that end, Bob Barkley was able to achieve this outcome with patients over and over again by utilizing his Preventive-Corrective Philosophy combined with Co-discovery which put the patient “in the driver’s seat” with regard to determining their preferred dental future.

Have you similarly tapped into the full power of Co-Discovery and a clarified practice philosophy? I

Paul A. Henny, DDS

Thought Experiments LLC, ©2017


Photo credit: Cover art from, A Philosophy of the Practice of Dentistry, by L.D. Pankey & William J. Davis


Home Testimonial

“Thanks so much for your continuing efforts to promote and advance the concept of the relationship based practice.” – Jim Otten

Great Forum

What a great forum for sharing the wisdom we have been privileged to gain from those who came before us. Hearing that wisdom expressed in the language of today is so important. ~ Mary Osborne

Get Involved with the
Bob Barkley Study Club Now!

1213 Corporate Circle SW, Roanoke, VA 24018
(540) 774-1577 |

Contact Us