The evolution of psychotherapeutic methods over the past 200 years from Mesmer through the psychoanalytic schools, behaviorism and current cognitive psychology tells a fascinating tale of our evolving understanding of human nature. In this address we will trace the development of fundamental techniques such as suggestion, free association, active imagination, gestalt dialogue, focusing, Erickson's indirect approaches and what I now call "The Basic Accessing Question." A new conceptual framework for understanding these psychotherapeutic techniques is proposed in terms of the new nonlinear dynamics of complex, self-organizing systems, the dynamics of the Chaos, for facilitating self-reflection and the evolution of human consciousness.
The focus and re-focus of attention is represented everywhere in psychotherapy; nowhere more pointedly than in hypnosis, meditation and the gestalt concept of concentration. Expanding on these techniques, Dr. Polster offers three options for heightening attention in the ordinary therapeutic relationship: tight therapeutic sequences, the reconstruction of storyline and the spotlighting of selves. Each of these impels attention, helping to create an imbeddedness into previously squandered ingredients of the patient's life.
Panel 02 from the Evolution of Psychotherapy 1995 - History of Psychotherapy
Featuring Erving Polster, Ph.D.; Ernest Rossi, Ph.D.; Margaret Singer, Ph.D.; and Thomas Szasz, M.D.
Moderated by Janet Edgette, PsyD.
Panel 14 from the Evolution of Psychotherapy 1995 - Role of the Therapist / Role of the Client
Featuring William Glasser, M.D.; Lynn Hoffman, A.C.S.W.; Ernest Rossi, Ph.D.; and Joseph Wolpe, M.D.
Moderated by Betty Alice Erickson, MS.