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Common Factors

The term psychotherapy can be broadly defined as a deliberate attempt to apply psychological principles in an interpersonal setting to help modify an individual’s behavior that is interfering with daily functioning. Within that framework, the field has evolved from a hierarchical stance (with the therapist considered the expert) to a more egalitarian approach (client and therapist are partners), to a more client-directed stance in which the client is considered the expert concerning his or her life. Consistent with this shift toward a more client-directed approach to therapy, researchers and clinicians alike began to examine the factors that seemed to account for success in therapy. Given the hundreds of models of treatment, coupled with the recognition that all seemed to work to varying degrees, the common ...

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