A Surfeit of Systems of Psychotherapy?

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(8), 628–629. Reviews the book, Systems of Psychotherapy: A Transtheoretical Analysis by James O. Prochaska (see record 1980-51428-000). Prochaska argues that psychotherapeutic eclecticism does not connote fence-straddling indecision, vagueness, or evasiveness, but rather represents an advanced stage of cognitive development and ethical commitment. The book presents nine major systems of psychotherapy and their variants. On the positive side, the author's exposition of systems is lively, clinically astute, and generally accurate. He discloses a considerable amount of his personal style and values, has a gift for vivid description, and presents wellchosen clinical examples. Overall, the book succeeds in articulating the author's personal beliefs regarding the effective ingredients in a variety of systems. It fails, however, to address the potentially psychonoxious effects associated with the quest for the most “powerful” interventions drawn from existing systems of psychotherapy. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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