The Great Psychotherapy Debate: Models, Methods, and Findings

By Bruce E. Wampold | Go to book overview

Preface

I am borne of two worlds. From about as long as I can remember, I loved mathematics, and the thrill of understanding deep structures and their beauty. Simple definitions leading to complex relationships; form and pattern expressed as chaos. The prime numbers, solid in definition, scattered seemingly at random. Rule governed, but complex and defying understanding. Mathematics, pure and pristine, yet finding application at every turn.

And the other world. The despair of losing unconditional and genuine love at the throw of a die. At five, I happily went into the woods to play, not knowing that I would never see my mother again. I struggled to understand that singularity, failing to understand that sheer rational logic would be insufficient.

For so many years, the wound to my soul that wouldn't heal, tugging at my consciousness, and created a world slightly out of focus. Along with the support of those who love and have loved me, psychotherapy provided the opportunity to explore, to see the wound from the inside out, to grieve, and to heal.

So, I approached this book from a personal perspective. Of course, I was drawn to a scientific understanding of psychotherapy, the same way I approached all academic endeavors. The natural inclination was to accept psychological treatments on the same basis as medical treatments—to embrace them as a clinical scientist. To a scientist, clinical trials, specific active ingredients, diagnoses, standardized treatments, and the aura of medicine, are all naturally attractive. Yet, the more I taught students about psychotherapy and the research that supports it, the more I realized that the medical model could

-xi-

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