Common Factors in Psychotherapy

The term common factors refers to aspects of the psychotherapy process that are common across different types of therapy and that are believed to be key “ingredients” of therapy, supporting and driving the process of therapeutic change. Common factors are contrasted with specific factors, which are the ingredients of the psychotherapy process that are linked to specific techniques and interventions. To locate common factors in their context, it is necessary to consider a basic definition of psychotherapy: Psychotherapy is usually characterized as a process of learning that relies on (a) general mechanisms of action that are implemented using (b) specific psychological techniques provided in a (c) scheduled social interaction between (d) therapist and (e) patient. Proponents of the common factors view assume that the ...

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