The Parsimonious Explanation
Psychotherapies may be classified into two groups, those focusing on theory and those focusing on process. Freud's psychoanalytic system is basically a personality theory whereby we see abnormal behavior as resulting from flaws in the developmental and/or socialization process. In juxtaposition to the psychoanalytic model, we might look at the eclectic approach, whereby the clinician examines the various systems and attempts to identify the various valid elements of each and combine these into a consistent whole which he/she then uses in his/her paradigm for helping the client.
Professor Randall Florey, noted for his work on adjunctive behavior at Hollins College, Virginia, commented that it is his belief that systematic desensitization, a therapeutic paradigm, is nonproductive theoretically in that when it works, it only works to the extent that the individual's locus of control is increased as a by-product of the therapeutic process. Locus of control is a point of major consideration in the development of psychoanalytic techniques. Corsini, in his book Current Psychotherapies ( 1973), lists 12 major psychotherapies and in his Handbook of Innovative Psychotherapies ( 1981), he covers 66 lesser but still well- known therapies. This vast proliferation of therapies has done much to muddy the waters and what we need to do is attempt to pull together the various therapies and develop a parsimonious explanation of therapeutic effectiveness and ineffectiveness that can function as a theoretical model for any therapy using any given technique.
Research without a theoretical orientation is sterile; theory without research is barren. Theory should guide the researcher and the function and results of the research should be to strengthen or weaken a