1st Edition

O. H. Mowrer's Theory of Integrity Therapy Revisited

By V. Edwin Bixenstine Copyright 2014
    264 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In the mid 20th century, O. Hobart Mowrer was a celebrated academic psychologist, owing largely to his experiments with animals and humans that led to breakthrough theories on how we learn. His numerous publications in this arena propelled him to the post of President of the American Psychological Association in 1954. His own battles with depression led him to develop a new theory of psychotherapy, which he called Integrity Therapy. The premise of this modality is that the client’s deception with people they care about is the source of conscience pangs, but the client resists or represses the prompting of the conscience and this causes his or her psychological symptoms. Treatment, therefore, consists of urging the client to acknowledge his or her hidden behaviors to themselves and to significant others that they might both gain restored community with intimates and the fruits of personal integrity and inner peace ( to come clean about their deceptions and rewarding the confession with approval.)

    This book explores the conceptual underpinnings of Integrity Therapy and Mowrer’s unique treatment approach, detailing his methods for setting conditions for therapy, assessing clinical data, rules of engagement for transference and countertransference, and handling client resistance. Case examples and transcripts are included to demonstrate key points of this technique. Mental health professionals interested in Mowrer’s ideas or the history of psychotherapy will find this book to be a valuable and interesting resource.

    Introduction Part I: The Therapeutic Process  1. Preview of Concept: A Point of Departure  2. The Introduction Stage: Establishing Contact  3. The Introduction Stage: Establishing Conditions  4. Engagement: The Clinical Data  5. Engagement: Some Useful Rules  6. From Insight to Action  7. Client Actions  8. Additional Client Actions Part II: The Nature of the Problem  9. Linking Psychotherapy to Pathology  10. The Nature of Normality  11. The Nature of Pathology  Postcript  Appendix  Bibliography  Index


    V. Edwin Bixenstine, Ph.D., ABEPP, is Emeritus Professor of Psychology, Kent State University, Ohio. He obtained his doctorate under the mentoring of Dr. O. H. Mowrer at the University of Illinois in 1953. After working as a clinician at a neuropsychiatric hospital and later at an outpatient clinic, he accepted an appointment as clinical instructor at Kent State. In due course, he inaugurated a therapeutic community, called Community House, based on the concept that those receiving help were also purveyors of help. 

    "One of the more interesting aspects of this book is the combination of Mowrer’s theory and an introduction to clinical work. It provides both a focus that is enriching, and implicitly provides for a compare and contrast that enhances both."- Richard L. Gorsuch, PsycCRITIQUES, July 2015