The goals of psychotherapy

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The goals of psychotherapy

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title The goals of psychotherapy
Author(s) Tengland, Per-Anders
Date 2009
English abstract
Psychotherapy appears to be one kind of practice and one kind of science. Despite this different schools of psychotherapy suggest different goals for their practices. The aim of the paper is to scrutinize some of the goals suggested and to formulate a normative theory of what goals psychotherapy in general ought to pursue. Various kinds of goals are identified, for example, personal goals, theoretical goals, and ultimate goals. Some theoretical goals, like cognitive change, symptom reduction, and self-knowledge, are found wanting as ultimate goals for psychotherapy, as are some broader goals, like health, well-being and empowerment. Quality of life is found to be the most reasonable ultimate goal for psychotherapy, if it is achieved through some internal, mental change. This overarching goal is shown to encompass many of the other suggestions, including person-centered goals like congruence. Finally, the value of the study is primarily the formulation of goals which can help us construct better outcome instruments, and make it easier to compare the effects of different kinds of psychotherapy.
Publisher PCCS Books, United Kingdom
Host/Issue Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies : PCEP;2
Volume 8
ISSN 1477-9757
Pages 127-142
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Psychotherapy
Mental health
Quality of life
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION::History and philosophy subjects::Philosophy subjects::Theory of science
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Social sciences::Psychology::Applied psychology
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