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Integrative Psychotherapy A Feedback-Driven Dynamic Systems Approach von Schiepek, Günter (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 20.12.2016
  • Verlag: Hogrefe Publishing
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Integrative Psychotherapy

Integrative psychotherapy: using the principles of dynamic complex systems to guide everyday clinical work. This book introduces a new, integrative, systemic approach to psychotherapy and counseling and shows how the principles of dynamic complex systems can guide everyday clinical work. Our mental, interpersonal, and biological (e.g., neuronal) systems are complex and nonlinear, and allow spontaneous pattern formation and chaotic dynamics. Their self-organizing nature sometimes maneuvers the systems into pathological states. However, the very same principles can be utilized therapeutically to encourage change for the better. The feedback-driven nonlinear dynamic systems approach described here basically attempts to facilitate positive self-organizing processes, such as order transitions, healthy patterns of behavior, and learning processes. In addition to describing the theory and evidence supporting the feedback-driven nonlinear dynamic systems approach, the authors use an extensive case study to illustrate how the principles of dynamic complex systems can guide everyday clinical work. They show how modeling and monitoring of the client's systems and an empirical description of its patterns allows the therapist to individually fine-tune therapeutic techniques to support the client's progress. Fine-meshed feedback based on real-time data and time-series analysis is at the core of the approach, and so an internet-based monitoring system - the Synergetic Navigation System (SNS) - that helps capture dynamic processes and guide practitioners' therapeutic decisions is also described.


    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: watermark
    Seitenzahl: 111
    Erscheinungsdatum: 20.12.2016
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9781613344729
    Verlag: Hogrefe Publishing
    Größe: 6935 kBytes
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Integrative Psychotherapy


At the ripe young age of 23 I began my career as a therapist, an in-home youth social worker in rural Wisconsin, USA. Armed with a variety of systemic theory and techniques, I was ready to do some good in the world! My client was a sensitive, quiet 13 year-old boy. He had just been released from the adolescent psychiatric unit after he was found to be walking across the busy road near his mother's home hoping, perhaps, that he would be killed by a speeding car. He had been removed from his father's home a few weeks earlier, after years of repeated late-night sexual molestations after his father had been drinking. His mother reluctantly took him in - making a bed for him on her sofa. She complained of her own problems; she too was a survivor of childhood sexual abuse as well, along with each of her other two siblings, an older half-brother and a sister. She now had all three of her children to care for in her small apartment, and the return of her son made clear to her that all of her children had now suffered just as she had as a child.

My first concern in working with this young man and his family was not which approach to use. Like most therapists, I valued theory and technique - indeed I still do. Yet, most of us also come to realize that the use of technique always feels at least a little bit out of place; and in situations like these, it can feel downright disrespectful - especially in the face of such intense pain.

For most of my early career as a social worker, and later as a psychologist, these types of tough cases were my usual clientele. Driving home from work each day, I remember feeling like the little Dutch boy with his thumb stuck in the dyke, holding back some inevitable catastrophic flood, yet helpless to do anything really to fix the overwhelming circumstances that held my clients' problems in place. Over time, however, this metaphor has shifted, along with my basic understanding of cause and effect and, thus, my role as therapist. The key was in learning that what we do with our clients is far less important than how we are when we are working with them.

Still, modern culture mandates that we act in the role of professionals - and professionals do things. Given that the ancient title of "shaman" is not professionally credible in a modern society, we are by default most often considered to be "health care professionals." And so, we must dispense "treatments," with empirically tested techniques like: desensitization, "chair" work, or scaling questions. We nest these techniques in "approaches," with more than 400 of them at this point and more each day it seems, with such well-known initial as: CBT, IPT, EFT, and ACT. Each of these approaches are supposedly nested in "theories" of one variety or another that are really too numerous, fragmented, and jargon-laden to list.

These are the labels we use to define ourselves professionally. When interviewing for jobs, meeting other therapists, or in our first encounters with clients a typical question arises: "What approach do you use?" Or "What would you do with a typical client?" The appropriate answers I was trained to give, depending on who is asking, could include: "CBT," or "IPT," "brief psychodynamic work," or "systemic" therapy. Another option is the classic name drop, like "Ellis," "Luborsky," "Greenberg," "Hayes," "Minuchin," "Haley," or "Satir."

Most of us who are therapists know that the most honest answers would be: "There is no such thing as a typical client, and my aim in therapy is always to do as little as I possibly can." Technique is important; yet, just like a punch in a fight, technique is inseparable from its timing, its location, and its efficiency. One of many paradoxes in psychotherapy lies in the fact that the more we do as therapists, the more we lose sight of our clients, their experiences, and most importantly their own resources and capacities for self-he

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