Toward the longitudinal study of the psychotherapeutic process
Accurate description is the first requirement in any science: without it, measurement and prediction are an impossibility. One of the often-repeated criticisms of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy has been aimed at this alleged deficiency, and, one must admit, with considerable justification. Aside from quantitative measurement and prediction which may be viewed as later and more refined developments, it should be possible, minimally, to agree on observable phenomena in the psychotherapeutic situation. Yet, when serious attempts have been made to study this problem, the results have usually been disappointing. The extent of this disillusionment is difficult to gauge because many efforts in this direction which were considered abortive by the investigators have never been published. In the absence of such reports it is difficult to assess whether the difficulties are indeed insuperable. However, if the direction of developments in psychotherapy is toward greater precision, and if psychotherapy aspires to the status of a science, the difficulties must be faced and resolved. The failures which have been experienced are perhaps largely due to faulty methodologies rather than to an inherent impossibility of describing adequately the phenomena of psychotherapy.
KeywordsPositive Attitude Negative Attitude Independent Observer Technique Variable Rater Agreement
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