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January 13, 2016 at 6:57 pm

Here’s an interesting read you don’t see every day:

This made me laugh:

Perhaps the only undeniable truth to emerge from disputes among therapists is that we still don’t have much of a clue how minds work.

Well then…what are the common factors that make therapy work? Helping people feel normal? Helping people feel human? Helping a person really feel heard? Helping a person to think? Feel?


January 21, 2016 at 3:26 pm

Interesting piece you shared, Clark.  As this highlights, it’s always important to see things in the broadest context as possible for greater understanding (in this case, the political and historical contexts influencing perspectives on CBT vs. Psychoanalysis).   It’s true, the mind / human beings are so darn complex!   And, most things are rarely black & white (no CBT pun intended 🙂 — like “CBT is the best” or “Psychoanalysis is the best (or worst).”  Each person is unique (in terms of their challenges and available resources, both internal and external), as well as each therapist (in both personhood and theoretical orientation); sometimes their styles will match up well to contribute to good outcomes, and at other times they won’t.

So, I appreciate the questions you posed that highlight the essence of what makes therapy work — that at its core, it’s about the human connection, which includes helping people be their most human selves – feeling, thinking and relating on a deep level.  Again, this doesn’t take away from the value that a certain approach will provide, but it all depends on how that approach matches up with a particular person.   Meta studies that emphasize 3 major factors impacting clinical outcomes (motivation, strength of therapeutic alliance, and ‘way of being’ on therapist’s part) seem to make the most sense to me as the common factors.

Other thoughts?