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How Does Psychotherapy Work?

Psychotherapy is nowadays considered an effective way to help people with emotional problems, but how exactly does it work? Are some therapy models more effective than others, and if so, why? What makes a good psychotherapist? Is psychotherapy an evidence-based science?
Leading psychotherapists from different schools of thought come together in this fascinating volume to attempt to answer these questions. The volume is based on a popular series of lectures, which acted as a medium for debating the qualities of successful psychotherapy. The experienced contributors discuss such topics as the history of psychiatry and psychotherapy; the qualities of a good psychotherapist; the practicalities of psychotherapy; and the reasons why people seek help through psychotherapy. This volume examines the differences between normal social interaction between two people and psychotherapy - when does the capacity to listen become a profession?
Despite the wide range of variations in the theory and technique in psychotherapy, the contributors in this book are united in finding the common denominator in successful psychotherapy. How Does Psychotherapy Work? presents a thought-provoking dialogue on psychotherapy and its place in the modern society.

"It is widely believed that psychotherapy does work, both subjectively from the positive statements of those who have undertaken this form of personal development, and statistically from before-and-after research into its efficacy. Interestingly, the results of some studies suggest that the basic components of successful psychotherapy are common to all therapeutic approaches and that possibly all models share thesignificant features that make the relationship effective. These are thought to include the existence of a special relationship that exists uniquely for the client's well-being, the use of a consistent method, the therapeutic value of hope through experiencing the possibility of change and, something which is little discussed, the willingness and capacity of the client or patient to commit to this challenging process and to be a partner in making it work." -- Jane Ryan from Introduction

Contributors: Neil Altman, Roz Carroll, Sue Cowan-Jenssen, Nicola Diamond, Carol Holmes, Brett Kahr, Dianne Lefevre, Susie Orbach, James Pollard, Jane Ryan, Joseph Schwartz, Robert Maxwell Young
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About the Author

Jane Tyan trained as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in the early 1990s. She is the founder and director of Confer, an independent organisation that provides cutting-edge continuing professional development for psychotherapists and medical doctors. It also aims to provide a non-partisan space for the exchange of views between approaches.


'There is no more important question in psychotherapy than this one. Jane Ryan and her eleven contributors deserve the highest praise, first for taking on this topic and, second, for succeeding admirably. Psychotherapy does work. People who want to find out how should read this book. And people who think they already know how it works could find a lot here that is new and valuable. The book also gives an excellent sense of what it is like to be in a psychotherapy relationship.'- Dr Morton Schatzman, American psychiatrist, UK-based psychotherapist

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