ECN505 - Chapter 1

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Helping clients to overcome obstacles to their personal growth, wherever these may be encountered, and toward achieving optimum development of their personal resources.


Pscho therapy

Psychotherapy is a primarily interpersonal treatment that is (a) based on psychological principles; (b) involves a trained therapist and a client who has a mental disorder, problem or complaint; (c) is intended by the therapist to be remedial for the client's disorder, problem or complain; and (d) is adapted or individualized for the particular client and his or her disorder, problem or complaint.


Theroies should

explain and predict behavior to help our clients. They all offer some sort of prescription for what one person - the therapist - can do to help the other person-the client = who has sought assistance. Some theories of counseling address how people are made (psychologically, developmental issues, and descriptions of healthy and unhealthy psychological functioning. Other theories bypass these issues as simply not relevant to helping the client change.


Is there a difference between counseling and psychotherapy?

Traditionally psychotherapy was considered the realm of "personality change" and "depth work" whereas counseling was shorter in duration, the problem focuses and less intense. Today most people do not differentiate between the two and the terms can be used interchangeable.



Cognitive structures that help us organize information into a coherent whole. They can be helpful or harmful.


What does being a scientific prarctionier mean?

That individuals in this mode understand the relationships among theory, research, and practice and are able and willing to read and evaluate research relevant to their practice. They approach their work with a critical, evaluative attitude and with the best interests of their clients firmly in mind.


Operational definition

is a statement that describes how the construct is to be measured "in terms that differ from the data it is meant to explain".


Empirical support

controlled case studies in which specific, standardized measurements are made over the course of counseling and the interventions performed are well defined and verified - (the extent to which the therapist faithfully performed the treatment is ascertained (known for sure)).



is a statistical technique that combines the results of a selected set of studies I not an overall index of effectiveness called effect siz.


Effect Size

tells us whether, across all studies, the treatment being observed is associated with significant differences between treated and untreated groups or with differences between two theoretical or treatment approaches


Exemplar studies

those that are generally recognized as stringent comparisons of psychotherapy groups to no-treatment groups following the best scientific procedures. They are also called efficacy studies or randomly controlled trials (RCT) and are based on the clinical trials approach adopted from pharmacy research.



Randomly Controlled Trial


Efficacy studies

Involve random assignment of participants (clients) to treatments, rigorous controls, carefully specified treatments, fixed numbers of sessions offered to clients, narrowly defined entrance criteria, and independent raters to assess client dysfunction and improvement. They use treatment manuals that detail the expectations for what the terapist will do.



Interpersonal psychotherapy is a present-oriented, short-term therapy that was developed for clients who present with depression. IPT includes a medical model of depression used to educate clients but then focuses on current interpersonal issues as the targets of intervention. IPT has been adapted for presentations other than depression, including anxiety, eating disorders and substance abuse.


What are the four basic interpersonal problems of interpersonal psychotherapy theory (IPT)

  1. Grief
  2. Interpersonal role disputes - occurs when two or more individuals disagree on the nature of their relationship and current overt or covert conflict with another is present.
  3. Interpersonal deficits - problems communicating about initiating or maintaining relationshops.

What are the 3 major phases of interpersonal role dispute?

  1. Renegotiation
  2. impasse
  3. dissolution

Duss includes such events as divorce, retirement, job change, and diagnosis of a major physical illnes


What is the first stage of 3 stages of interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT)?

Stage 1 - about 3 sessions or so. Assessment, diagnosis, and conceptualization are the focuses - the biological role of depression is explained to the client, separate client from disease -gets commitment from the client to work on therapy, the introduction of the four areas of depression - grief, roles disputed, role transition, and interpersonal deficit. (only one or two of these should be revealed to each client as it pertqains.)


What is the second stage of the 3 stages of interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT)

Stage 2 - attention is focused on the problem that was identified in stage one:

  1. Grief - help them mourn and then support them in establishing new activities and relationships
  2. Role Disputes - examine the nature of the dispute and devise ways to resolve it
  3. Role Transition - help negotiate the life changes smoothly and move toward best outcomes
  4. Interpersonal problems and few supportive relationships - encouraged to understand the connection between depression and social difficulties and to learn new social skills - Most diccicult to treat because it is basically a default catgory.

What is the third stage of the three stages of interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT)?

Termination and comprises the last few sessions of therapy. The client and counselor discuss the client's progress and acknowledge the ending of the therapeutic relationship. The potential for relapse and triggers are also discussed.


What are the seven categories of intervention for interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT)?

  1. Exploration - support and acknolwedgement
  2. Encourangment of affect - accepting painful emotion
  3. Clarification - rephrasing attending to contradictions
  4. Communication analysis - finding problems in communication
  5. Use of therapeutic relationship - getting feedback from client about therapist and the therapeutic relations to help clients learn about other relationships
  6. Behavior-Change techniques - advice, suggestions, educating modeling
  7. Adjunctive techniques - forming a therapeutic contract.


The principle of parsimony is simplicity. The simplest explanation that can handle the data is the gest. If comparing two theories that are both effective, one elaborate and one very simple, then choose the simple one. But two problems - who decides what's simple or not and what is simple tlday may be simplistic tomorrow or next week, so a core complex theory may be just right.



Good theories get peoiple excited. The best theories prompt thought, writing and research. Good theory can also provide attempts to disconfirm it. However they can become "fad-like" and the devotees who like worshper may not be the best critics of their faiths.