Psychotherapy Outcome: An Issue Worth Re-Revisiting 50 Years Later

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Abstract

Responding to an invitation to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the journal Psychotherapy, the goal of this article is to describe three general ways by which the impact of psychotherapy might be improved: (a) clinically, by encouraging the assimilation of empirically based principles of change and psychopathology research into day-to-day practice; (b) empirically, by fostering process and outcome research focused on a wide range of common factors and basic findings; as well as (c) clinically and empirically, by facilitating active collaboration of practitioners and researchers in various types of practice-oriented research. Reflected in these three potential avenues of growth are the assumptions that (a) we can improve our understanding and impact of psychotherapy by building on convergences and complementarities across different theoretical orientations, domains of research, and professional expertise, and that (b) most of the clinical and research suggestions derived by such convergence and plurality may not require drastic changes in the practice of many psychotherapists.

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