Edward Shoben, Jr.: Overlooked Pioneer of Psychotherapy Integration

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Abstract

In 1949, a year beforeDollard and Miller (1950)published their milestone of psychotherapy integration, Edward Shoben, Jr., published a lesser-known, but no less groundbreaking, learning theory analysis of the psychotherapy process. By doing so, he challenged the therapists of his day to reconsider the mutative factors in psychotherapy. He was largely ignored by practitioners but was influential in the development of behavior therapy. By bridging the substantial gap separating the academic learning theorists and predominantly psychoanalytic practitioners of his day and seeking out common mutative factors, Shoben was a true pioneer of psychotherapy integration. This article explores his contribution with particular emphasis on the importance of his ideas and their influence on current practices. In addition, criticisms of his approach as well as theoretical and political factors that may have contributed to his relative obscurity are considered.

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