During the last two decades, the demand for psychotherapy has increased tremendously. Hundreds of thousands of men, women and children are seeking help from thousands of therapists of one kind or another. Unfortunately, psychotherapy is a long and costly process, and there are not nearly enough therapists to meet the ever growing social demand. In general, therapists are sometimes able to "cure patients," but no one knows how they do it, and they cannot teach anyone else to do it. Therapists probably acquire the ability to "cure patients" through learning, but there are no demonstrated techniques for reliably teaching people to do psychotherapy, and we know relatively little about the effects that therapists are able to achieve or the way in which they go about achieving those effects. If we are to do anything about the demand for psychotherapy, one place to begin is to try to establish systematically what it is that therapists are now able to do and what it is that they know how to do. If we can identify the skills and abilities that therapists now have, we can begin to identify or develop ways of reliably teaching people to do psychotherapy. In addition, if we can identify what it is that therapists are able to do, we will also be better able to identify what it is that therapists are not able to do and we might then be in a better position to try to discover new and more efficient ways of doing psychotherapy.
Linguistic Research Institute
185 pages; 10.75 x 8.26 inches
Holmes, James R., "Psychotherapy: A Means-Ends Study" (1971). Peter G. Ossorio Collection. 52.