Principles of Therapeutic Change That Work

Principles of Therapeutic Change That Work

Principles of Therapeutic Change That Work

Principles of Therapeutic Change That Work

Synopsis

This book presents the findings of a Joint Presidential Task Force of the Society of Clinical Psychology (Division 12 of APA) and of the North American Society for Psychotherapy Research. This task force was charged with integrating two previous task force findings which addressed, respectively, Treatments That Work (Division 12, APA), and Relationships That Work (Division 29, APA). This book transcends particular models of psychotherapy and treatment techniques to define treatments in terms of cross-cutting principles of therapeutic change. It also integrates relationship and participant factors with treatment techniques and procedures, giving special attention to the empirical grounding of multiple contributors to change. The result is a series of over 60 principles for applying treatments to four problem areas: depression, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and substance abuse disorders. This book explains both principles that are common to many problem areas and those that are specific to different populations in a format that is designed to help the clinician optimize treatment planning.

Excerpt

This book represents the work of a Task Force jointly sponsored by the Society for Clinical Psychology, which is Division 12 of the American Psychological Association (APA), and the North American Society for Psychotherapy Research (NASPR). This Task Force was initiated at the time that the Editors were beginning their respective terms as Presidents of these two professional groups. The Task Force represented the presidential initiatives of the two sponsoring groups during the year 2002 and extended through the year 2004.

The idea for this book was conceived in a series of discussions between the co-editors, that were initiated at the annual meeting of the international Society for Psychotherapy Research (SPR) and that continued via telephone and e-mail, as well as at a meeting of the American Psychological Association in San Francisco. The discussion brought into high relief the fragmenting effect on the field of research, which had produced seemingly contradictory evidence about the roles of technical and relationship factors in treatment. Specifically, we were struck by the “either/or” position that many researchers and clinicians seem to take with regard to the variable(s) responsible for change. While some authors seemed to emphasize the importance of relationship above all, others focused on the effects of participant (therapist or patient) factors, and still others drew attention to the salience of certain treatment procedures and models. It struck us that all of these groups of scholars had lost sight of the possibility that relationship, participant factors, and treatment procedures were effective and interactive; that the conjunction should be “and” not “or” when describing the things that produce change.

As we were both entering the roles of Presidents of major professional organizations (Division 12 and NASPR), we decided to combine our efforts on behalf of our separate groups, and to initiate a process designed to answer important questions: (1) What is known about the nature of the . . .

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