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Unread January 24th, 2007, 11:18 AM
Robert Staffin Robert Staffin is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 7
Default Re: Need for theory in Ericksonian therapy?

Hi Kristoffer,

In response to your question "which theory of human psychopathology fits best with Ericksonian approaches?", I would suggest reformulating the question to; "What ideas about human potential, growth and development, fit best with Erickson's approach?" As much as I agree with you that it is helpful, at least in the early stages, to have a theoretical orientation, I believe it is important to bear in mind that while theory may serve as an organizing principle around which you may collect and sort your data, observations and interpersoanl sense, it is no substitute for being genuinely human.

I understand that you are offered one of two theoretical tracts. Given both my experience in graduate school (a very positive one) and in following the debates in the literature, it is not hard to see that people are passionate about their beliefs. As a student you will find a balance between navigating the beliefs among and within the schools of thought and remaining true to your own sense of what is mutative and effective. Furthermore, you can enjoy how this changes over the course of your training and career.

If you are not familiar with the work of Scott Miller, I would encourage you to familiarize yourself with it. He does a great deal of research on psychotherapy outcome. He was once featured in the Erickson Foundation newsletter. In that interview, he reported that all schools of psychotherapy are equally effective. That is, no one theoretical orientation is any more effective than any other orientation. However, one predictior of successful psychotherapy outcome is the therapists belief that his or her orientation is the most effective.

Given the questions you are asking, it is my guess that your curiosity will lead you to integrate a wide range of ideas with your personal experiences thus creating your own unique art of psychotherapy.

Good luck and Best Wishes,
Rob
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