Conceptual Confusion in Psychological Therapy: Towards a Taxonomy of Therapies

  • James J. CollardEmail author


This paper addresses confusion apparent in the discussion of psychological therapies. Such confusion relates to the differentiation, or lack of, of therapy constructs across categorical levels. Conceptual confusion is identified in terms of an apparent failure to differentiate theoretical frameworks of human functioning, specific therapy packages, and individual techniques from one another. Confusing to which level various concepts belong results in misunderstandings in psychological research, practice and education. The paper further sets out to provide a framework to help delineate these conceptual levels and to highlight the problems arising from confusing them.


Psychotherapy Classification Counselling meta-theory Practice Research 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The Author declares that he has no conflict of interests.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cairnmillar InstituteHawthorn EastAustralia

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