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By Christine Lister-Ford

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A postmodernist approach can’t really answer this type of question. People choose a type of psychotherapy for a variety of reasons, empirical effectiveness being only one of them. qxd 5/2/2007 7:52 PM PSYCHOTHERAPY APPLICATIONS Page 33 33 most people is does this type of psychotherapy fit my cultural background … does the narrative flow of the therapy fit my values? For example psychodynamic psychotherapy tends towards a pessimistic view of the human condition whereas a humanistic and integrative approach is essentially optimistic.

He thought it was very important that the therapist avoid criticism, encouragement, reassurance and advice giving. Hence the relationship does not have the normal dynamics of a conventional relationship. This unusual way of being with another influences the therapeutic relationship such that often the relationship is experienced as rather cold and uninviting. This often changes as the therapeutic benefits of the work start to be experienced by the client. The therapist will not try to establish a friendship.

Therapeutic programmes using computers, books and telephone contact have been evaluated and show some effectiveness. It must be added that there is great diversity in the CBT world and its wide application means any description of an approach will not do justice to this diversity. For example there have been very interesting developments in the field in relation to the development of the therapeutic relationship within CBT treatment (Wills and Sanders, 1997; Dryden, 2001). Family therapy It was in the 1950s that family therapy started to establish itself as a separate and distinct school of psychotherapy.

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