1st Edition

Beyond the Therapeutic Relationship Behavioral, Biological, and Cognitive Foundations of Psychotherapy

By Frederic J. Leger Copyright 1998

    Seeking to transfer knowledge across ideological boundaries within a theoretically valid, scientific framework, Beyond the Therapeutic Relationship draws upon and relates existing research from psychotherapy and the allied fields of human behavior. Author Frederic J. Leger has successfully cut across multifarious therapies to create an integrated, high-order theory that unites psychotherapy’s disparate forces. In the process, he addresses the theoretical underpinnings of the field of psychotherapy, the paradigm of the therapeutic relationship and its centrality to therapeutic change, the difficulties of creating a “scientific discipline” from the study of the psyche, and the factionalization of psychology into different competing schools.

    By exploring universal variables and how they fit into a causal nexus, Beyond the Therapeutic Relationship identifies transtheoretical processes of change that cut across diverse therapies. It also offers heuristic research direction and guidance in eclectic and integrative practice as it broadens the perspective on the psychotherapeutic encounter. Combining physiological, social, and psychological research into a transtheoretical psychodynamic theory, this important text discusses:

    • why the need for paradigmatic direction is urgent
    • bringing nonverbal variables to the therapist’s working awareness or focus
    • how a small range of conceptual possibilities limits knowledge of human behavior
    • the lack of efficacy in psychotherapy
    • the psychobiological significance of intensive experiential exploration
    • formation of the “self” through language and discourse
    • integrative eclecticism within transtheoretical and common factors integration

      Psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health therapists, and academics and students in psychology, psychiatry, and educational psychology now have a text that cuts across the multitude of therapeutic approaches to provide a theory that is empirically supported and grounded in the author’s 25 years of clinical practice. As you will see, Beyond the Therapeutic Relationship discusses the current position of the field of psychotherapy, where it needs to go, specific strategies for getting there as well as alternative interventions beyond empathy and the therapeutic relationship.

    Contents Foreword
    • Preface
    • Acknowledgment
    • Attending to Therapeutic Catalysts
    • The Common Factors Hypothesis
    • The Need for Greater Scientific Grounding
    • The Need for Integration
    • Chapter 1. The Therapeutic Relationship: Beyond This Point of Convergence
    • Toward a Standardized Terminology
    • Interpersonal Communication and the Therapeutic Relationship
    • Nonverbal Behavior and the Therapeutic Relationship
    • Limitations of the Intrapsychic Approach to Psychotherapy Research
    • Summary and Conclusion
    • Chapter 2. Universal Variables: Toward a Higher-Order Theory
    • A Discovery Investigation--Unraveling “What Has Already Occurred”
    • Narrowing the Research Focus
    • Developing a Common Framework
    • The Need for a Scientific Theory
    • Summary and Conclusion
    • Chapter 3. Nonverbal Behavior, Information Processing, and Interpersonal Communication in Psychotherapy
    • An Overview of Nonverbal Behavior in Interpersonal Communication Theory
    • Nonverbal Therapist Behavior as Nonspecific
    • Nonverbal Behavioral Research in Psychotherapy
    • Delineating Psychotherapeutic Variables
    • The Need for Operationalism in Psychotherapy
    • The Therapeutic versus Interpersonal Relationship
    • Facilitative versus Growth-Inhibiting Behaviors
    • Summary and Conclusion
    • Chapter 4. Face-to-Face Interaction: The Behavioral, Biological, and Cognitive Relevance of Dominant Eye Contact in Psychotherapy
    • Eye Contact Research in Psychotherapy
    • The Significance of Eye Contact in the Therapeutic Relationship
    • The Significance of Eye Dominance in Psychotherapy
    • Eye Contact and Information Processing
    • Summary and Conclusion
    • Chapter 5. Intensive Experiential Exploration: The Psychobiological Significance of Client Verbalization and Self-Disclosure in Psychotherapy
    • The Self in Psychotherapy
    • Affect, Catharsis, and Self-Disclosure
    • Self-Disclosure as Therapeutic
    • Psychobiological Bases of Therapeutic Self-Disclosure
    • The Role of the “Other” in Reprocessing of Information
    • The Psychotherapeutic Implications of Penfield’s Work
    • “Blocks” to Information Processing and Interpersonal Communication
    • Summary and Conclusion
    • Chapter 6. The Talking Cure: Language as a Remedy for, and Source of, Neuroses and Incongruence
    • Linguistics and Psychotherapy
    • Seeking the Biological Bases of Language and Meaning
    • Cognitive and Psychobiological Change Through Language and Discourse
    • Language as a Bridge Between Mind and Brain
    • The Genesis of Discursive Psychology
    • Mind, Brain, and the Generation of Consciousness Through Language
    • Thought and the Formation of the Mind
    • Mind and the Phenomenon of Therapeutic Growth
    • Therapeutic Growth versus Mental “Illness”
    • Language and Discourse as a Remedy for Neuroses and Incongruence
    • Constructive Language Process, or the “Unconscious”?
    • Language and the Reconstruction of Personal Reality
    • Reprocessing Information Through Asymmetric Relationships
    • Therapeutic Outcome: Facilitating Self-Growth
    • The Asymmetrical Talking “Cure”
    • Autonomous Processes: The “Hardware” Underlying the “Software”
    • Language as a Source of Neuroses and Incongruence
    • Neural Limitations Underlying Reasoning
    • Bridging the “Gap” Without the “Black Box”
    • “Trapped” Within the Self
    • Anxiety as a Signal for Change
    • Summary and Conclusion
    • Chapter 7. Facilitative Therapist Behaviors as a Modus Operandi: Integrative Eclecticism Within Transtheoretical and Common Factors Integration
    • Scientific Roadblocks
    • Facilitating the Re-Creation of the Client’s “Design”
    • Toward Unifying the Person
    • Asymmetry as a Universal Psychotherapeutic Characteristic
    • Facilitative Face-to-Face Interacti


    Frederic J Leger