This book details the first comparative study under controlled conditions of the three major schools of psychotherapy-client-centered therapy, behavioral or systematic desensitization therapy, and rational-emotive therapy. The study was organized to compare the effectiveness of these distinct forms of counseling with two distinct personality types-introverts and extroverts-in the treatment of two specific homogeneous problems-interpersonal anxiety and general anxiety. The study was reviewed by experts representing each of the schools of thought, and critiques are included as part of the total book.
Each school of therapy was evaluated to determine which was most effective with what type of subject. In this study, client-centered therapy proved to have the best results in reducing anxiety with extroverts, while the rational-emotive approach worked best with introverts. The therapy that had the greatest breadth, in terms of effectiveness for both kinds of clients, was systematic desensitization. This remarkable study should have far-reaching influence in the practical use of psychotherapy, and is essential reading for all professionals and psychology students who plan to enter the area of counseling. Instructors can use this book as a basic text or as a supplement to all introductory courses in clinical or counseling psychology offered at the senior/graduate level.