About this book
Whatever else it may be, psychotherapy offers a clear form of human com passion channeled through myriad assumptions about the causes and solu tions of human distress. There has, of course, been a longstanding debate about whether the psychotherapist is best described (and trained) as an artisan or a scientist. Volumes of scholarly argument have also addressed such themes as the essential ingredients of psychotherapy, the role of tech nique, the importance of client characteristics, and the significance of the therapist's personality. Experts have defended a wide range of opinions on these issues and have mustered evidence to support their individual claims. The purpose of the present volume is neither to defend nor to expand any specific claim about psychotherapy. Rather, it is intended to be a heuristic compendium of contemporary views on this humane endeavor. At the most basic level of analysis, the field of psychotherapy research now faces three fundamental questions: 1. Is psychotherapy effective? 2. When and why is it effective? 3. How should psychotherapists be trained? The latter two questions obviously presume that the first can be answered affirmatively. Although I would hardly defend the generalization that all forms of psychotherapy are effective for all clients, it is equally clear that there is now ample warrant for the contention that some of the things we do in our fifty-minute hours seem to have positive effects.
personality psychotherapy stress