Psychotherapy as a Developmental Process
Routledge – 2009 – 372 pages
For all those engaged in psychotherapy practice, regardless of modality or approach, the goal of this book is to provide a framework and method for thinking about their work that allows for critical reflection on their own successes and disappointments, and on the similarities and differences among their own and other practitioners’ work with different clients. The authors use a novel "common factors" approach, based on the idea that some form of development is the outcome of all effective psychotherapy, despite other differences that may exist.
While most existing psychotherapy research focuses on treatment outcomes, primarily in terms of symptom reduction, this book offers an alternative research approach that systematically tracks the psychotherapy process itself, and describes each case’s unique developmental outcome. In particular, Basseches & Mascolo focus on the questions of what kinds of therapeutic resources therapists are offering to their clients and whether and how clients are able to make use of these resources in the service of their own development.
The goal is to provide a descriptive framework that can be used to appreciate the highly varied ways in which particular therapists tailor their work to unique clients’ developmental needs, while at the same time offering a prescription of a more rigorous method for recognizing and correcting the problem when a particular therapist’s way of working is not serving the client well. Ideally, this type of process-focused research will complement existing outcome research, and be more likely than further symptom-reduction studies to result in the improvement of overall psychotherapy success rates.
"Basseches and Mascolo provide us the closest thing we have to a ‘unified field theory’ for psychotherapy. Breaking new ground for practitioners and researchers alike, the authors create a common lens and language to look across therapy’s many forms and to engage the central question for the growth of the field - not just whether a given practice is or is not successful, but why it is, and what the practitioner can do if it is not." - Robert Kegan, Meehan Professor of Adult Learning and Professional Development, Harvard University Graduate School of Education, USA
"This book is one of the most provocative and invigorating books on psychotherapy that I have read in recent years. In suggesting very novel ways to reflect critically and systematically on the theory, research, practice, and supervision of psychotherapy, the authors open new doors of immense value for the field of psychotherapy." - António Branco Vasco, Professor of Psychology, University of Lisbon, Portugal
"In this book, the authors argue that all forms of psychotherapy, regardless of theoretical underpinnings or therapeutic techniques, can be understood as processes of human development. Their DAPP Model is demonstrated with vivid case studies and detailed transcript analyses of psychotherapy sessions from a range of therapeutic traditions." - Abigail Lipson, Director of the Bureau of Study Counsel, Harvard University, USA
"Basseches and Mascolo take on and accomplish a breath-taking array of goals regarding psychotherapy practice and research…Through clear thought, deep appreciation for what all therapists do, and constant attention to the concrete details of psychotherapy process, they offer a book that will deepen our understanding of our own and others’ work, whether we’re practitioners or researchers, seasoned or beginners." - Suzanne Benack, Professor of Psychology, Union College, USA
Part I: Introduction Psychotherapy and Development: Goals of this Book. Part II: Conceptual Foundations The Concept of Development and its Implications for Psychotherapy. A Coactive Systems Model of Psychotherapy and Development. How Psychotherapy Fosters Development. Multiple Traditions, Multiple Paths: How Different Therapeutic Approaches Foster Development. Part III: Method. The Developmental Analysis of Psychotherapy Process (DAPP) Method. Part IV: Case Analyses. From Isolation to Intimacy: The Transformation of Eva’s Communicative Repertoire. The Lady Cloaked in Fog: Developing a Construction of the Therapist as a "Harbor Light." Tracking the Role of Emotion in Psychotherapy: Case Illustrations. Part V: Implications. Psychotherapy as a Developmental Process: Implications and Future Directions for Psychotherapy Research, Practice, and Training