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Common factors are a core group of ingredients shared by all forms of counseling and psychotherapy regardless of the specific theories or procedures that constitute and differentiate various treatment approaches. While specific interventions may be targeted at specific psychological problems, a large body of evidence shows that the individual components and technical operations derived from specific theoretical approaches account for insubstantial amounts of outcome variance when measuring treatment effectiveness. The same body of research demonstrates that the commonly occurring elements in all methods, including the client’s experience of the relationship, the creation of hope and expectancy, the structure and focus, and the qualities of the therapist, are responsible for a much larger proportion of outcome variance.

Historical Context

In 1936, Saul Rosenzweig first drew attention to the ...

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