Psychotherapy has been a vital treatment in health care since development of the great innovative and technical approaches embodied by psychoanalysis and behaviorism at the beginning of the 20th century’. In the course of its development, many questions have been raised about this treatment: What is psychotherapy? How does it work? Which forms are cost effective? Who can do it? How does it fit into a comprehensive approach to health care? What is its scientific basis? How does theory drive treatment? What is the role of complementary treatments such as pharmacotherapy in combination with psychotherapy?
The Encyclopedia of Psychotherapy strives to answer the aforementioned questions. It is a comprehensive reference to extant knowledge in the field and written in clear expository language so that it will be of value to professional and lay persons alike. Within its pages, this encyclopedia addresses over 200 topics by experts in psychotherapy. Topics were selected in order to give broad coverage of the field (albeit not exhaustive) so as to encompass the most contemporary schools and approaches that have clearly defined techniques, some form of systematic study, and measurement of outcomes. Eclectic and integrative approaches have also been considered.
Additional topics that transcend all schools, such as the impact of culture and the importance of the therapeutic relationship, have also been included as well as discussion of the treatment for some specific disorders.
Psychotherapy is an extremely complicated process that is difficult to fully capture even in a work of large scope, such as this encyclopedia. The interplay between scientific confirmation of particular strategies and the actual implementation of a given therapeutic technique is not always isomorphic. Also, how theory drives practice and ultimately the empirical confirmation of such practice, is not always clear cut. Moreover, how cultural, financial, legislative, and forsensic issues act in confluence further complicate the intricacies of what we refer to as psychotherapy.
However, it is these very intricacies and complexities which make psychotherapy such an interesting field to examine. In many ways, this work may raise more questions than it does provide answers, and that, perhaps, is the way it should be.
The Encyclopedia of Psychotherapy is designed to serve the needs of a multi-faceted audience. As a reference work, we see it being used by students and professionals from counseling and clinical psychology, psychiatry, psychiatric nursing, and social work. Certainly, other disciplines will make reference to it as well. But the encyclopedia will also be of use to interested lay individuals seeking information about this burgeoning field. Topics are arranged alphabetically.
As appropriate, a good many of the entries have case descriptions to illustrate the specifics of theory and technique. The topics addressed span clinical, theoretical, cultural, historical, and administrative and policy issues, as well as the matters of schools and specific patient conditions. Most importantly, a comprehensive user friendly Index is provided.