Personality and Psychotherapy: Treating the Whole Person

Personality and Psychotherapy: Treating the Whole Person

Personality and Psychotherapy: Treating the Whole Person

Personality and Psychotherapy: Treating the Whole Person

Synopsis

This innovative book provides a framework for using recent advances in personality science to inform and enrich psychotherapy. The author demonstrates how multidimensional assessment within the context of a strong therapeutic alliance can serve as a guide to treating clients as multifaceted individuals, rather than simply treating symptoms or diagnoses. Key concepts and procedures of personality assessment are clearly explained, as are ways to use the resulting data effectively in treatment planning and intervention with individuals or couples. The concluding chapter features an extended case example illustrating the author's approach.

Excerpt

I hope in this book to fill a major gap in the training and knowledge base of psychotherapists, including clinical psychologists, counseling psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and marriage and family counselors. Training in these fields has not kept up with rapid advances in the field of personality psychology in the last 20 years. Just as we have seen remarkable progress in neuroscience and cognitive science, there have been significant strides made in the study of personality that have left older textbooks obsolete and many current ones no longer cuttingedge. Yet even the most up-to-date textbooks in personality are not designed to connect the research they describe to the needs and concerns of the practicing therapist.

The goal of this volume is to help therapists, therapists-in-training, and the instructors in charge of their training close this gap and become familiar with some of the most important contemporary personality research. By providing case material drawn from research participants as well as clients from my own practice, I demonstrate the relevance and utility of personality psychology for the understanding and effective treatment of clients in psychotherapy. To accomplish this endeavor, I take readers systematically through Dan McAdams's three-domain framework of personality research, which has become a major way of organizing the field of personality psychology. It provides insight into individuals from the perspective of their stable traits (Domain 1); social-cognitive adaptations, such as goals and defenses (Domain 2); and life stories or personal narratives (Domain 3). In addition to these three domains, I also offer readers a review of advances in relational psychotherapy that . . .

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