A series of 10 interviews by Psychotherapy Excellence - Interview 2: How Does Psychotherapy Work?
Last Monday I completed the second in the Psychotherapy Excellence series of interviews, with Tom Warnecke, on the topic of how psychotherapy works. This is building on the first interview on the question “What is Psychotherapy?” some months ago. The idea of this series is that a fundamental question will be addressed by representatives of different therapeutic modalities, approaching the question from within the context and background of their tradition.
As I am representing Body Psychotherapy in the mixture of modalities contributing to the series, I was in a bit of a dilemma: what in the jargon we traditionally call the ‘theory of therapeutic action’, i.e. how does therapy do the work it does (if and when it does, that is), is not easy to answer as this is something that has changed radically in my mind over the last 30 years. As I have been proposing over the last 15 years or so, I need to make a distinction between ‘traditional’ Body Psychotherapy, and what I would think of as a modern integrative and relational version of it. These two versions of Body Psychotherapy have profoundly different assumptions in terms of their underlying ‘theory of therapeutic action’.
There is a lot of tension and confusion about this distinction and the relationship between these two versions of Body Psychotherapy - as we know from many other things, ‘later’ is not necessarily ‘better’. This is not just some advertising gimmick: buy now! - the much improved version – better, longer, deeper, cleaner, higher, or whatever. We’re not talking about cars or other technological gadgets where the latest model outperforms and supersedes the earlier one.
No, this is a good example of Wilber’s “transcend and include”, where the later version is only as good as it qualitatively transcends, but comprehensively includes the earlier version - which if you get into the nitty-gritty is ultimately a paradoxical thing, and not a comparison chart with ticks and crosses indicating which version/model has which features, with built-in obsolescence guaranteeing that the later pro version gives you a lot more bang for your buck.
It would be difficult to do the delicate paradoxical integration of these two versions of Body Psychotherapy justice in 50 minutes, but the interview does include some indications.
The interview will need to be edited and transcripted before it appears as a free webcast and then as a download to be purchased within the whole series - follow me on Twitter (@INTEGRA_CPD) to be sure you receive the information about the date and time of the webcast.