The contradictory philosophies of the major schools of psychotherapy present a dizzying array of alternative approaches for the psychiatry resident. The academic efforts that have been made to synthesize differing approaches to psychotherapy have not met with widespread acceptance. Part of the reason why such a synthesis has been slow in coming may be found in the stages of development the practitioner goes through in learning psychotherapy. The concepts of developmental psychology discussed by Chandler (7) in describing the adolescent's confrontation with relativism and "epistemological loneliness" can help us understand some of the cognitive problems faced by the psychiatry resident. Unfortunately, most residents choose one particular approach to psychotherapy during training, and adhere to that method throughout their professional careers. The philosophical approach of "pluralism" describes a less limiting solution to the problem of differing world views, and may provide a model for a more integrated approach to psychotherapy.
Clark, PhD, MD, Duncan B.
"Developmental Stages of Learning Psychotherapy,"
Jefferson Journal of Psychiatry: Vol. 5
, Article 11.
Available at: http://jdc.jefferson.edu/jeffjpsychiatry/vol5/iss2/11