IN SEARCH OF THE UNIFYING PRINCIPLES OF PSYCHOTHERAPY. Conceptual, Empirical, and Clinical Convergence Jeffrey J. Magnavita. Evolution of Psychotherapy. Single Domain Schools (psychoanalysis, behavior therapy, client-centered therapy etc.
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Conceptual, Empirical, and Clinical Convergence
Jeffrey J. Magnavita
“Integration does not inhere in treatment methods or their theories, be they eclectic or otherwise. Integration inheres in the person, not in our theories or the modalities we prefer” (Millon, 2000, p. 49)
A comprehensive theoretical framework which seeks to understand how the multiple interrelated domains of the human system function and dysfunction, and based on the best evidence from clinical science, how adaptation can be enhanced through the application of methods and processes of psychotherapy
A theoretical, clinical, and research movement which attempts to identify processes and mechanisms that interconnect the major domains of human functioning and dysfunction from the micro- to macro-system.
Points of Convergence in
The human ecological system can be best characterized as part-whole relationships, which exist in networks of sub-domain and larger systems which can be viewed from the microscopic to the macroscopic level
Relationships represent the essential crucible of human growth, adaptation, function and dysfunction, and is the main operating arena for all psychotherapy and change processes
All domains of human functioning must be recognized and considered as the basis for conceptualization and treatment, which is best characterized with a biopsychosocial systems paradigm as originally articulated by Engel (American Journal of Psychiatry, 1980)
Emotion is a uniquely adaptive mechanism which is implicated in almost all forms of psychopathology from the neurobiological system to the socio-familial system and represents a convergent force or central process
Personality, consciousness, and psychopathology are emergent phenomena of a complex system whose characteristics cannot be explained by the sum of its parts, which can be depicted as a holograph. Thus, each perspective taken is only partial.
Complex systems organize themselves in order to adapt and survive. Complex systems are prone to be chaotic and nonlinear oscillating between states of order and disorder. One aspect of this phenomenon has been labeled the “Tipping Point” (Gladwell)
Within all complex systems and expressed at various levels are points of convergence or attractor states which we depict as encoded patterns to be deciphered such as transference, maladaptive schema, reenactment, family and social dysfunction, etc.
A Component System Perspective
Clinical theorists have made major advances over the past century formulating and articulating various levels and domains of human functioning which have been used to guide treatment from multiple schools and orientations. These can be used to divide the human ecological system into four levels.
THE MAIN GOAL OF UNIFIED THERAPY IS INCREASED DIFFERENTIATION AND INTEGRATION OF VARIOUS COMPONENTS OF THE TOTAL SYSTEM TO ALLOW FOR THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF ADAPTATION AND ENHANCED FUNCTIONING
Jeffrey J. Magnavita