The traditional assumption that only insight into the causes in the past can bring about a change in the present makes us blind for what Alexander & French called "the corrective emotional experience," i.e., chance events in the present that may lead to almost immediate solutions. A great number of Erickson's surprising results could be considered the outcome of "planned chance events," often in the form of behavior prescriptions similar to interventions in hypnotherapy (e.g., "speaking the clients's language," prescribing resistance, the use of reframing, paradoxical interventions, etc.).
In the ancient world, the philosopher was a physician of the soul who, employing the healing word (iatroi /ogoi), offered counsel to persons perplexed by problems in living. After the triumph of Christianity, the priest as confessor-counselor replaced the philosopher as rhetorician of consolation. With the birth of psychiatry, and especially since the Freudian revolution, we call helping persons with words "psychotherapy." I shall try to show that without a decisive separation of rhetorical healing from medical healing, psychotherapy as the secular cure of souls is doomed to extinction.
Panel 03 from the Evolution of Psychotherapy 1995 - Treatment of Depression and Anxiety
Featuring Alexander Lowen, M.D.; Judd Marmor, M.D.; Peggy Papp, A.C.S.W.; and Paul Watzlawick, Ph.D.
Moderated by Janette Edgette, PsyD.
Panel 10 from the Evolution of Psychotherapy 1995 - Philosophical Issues and Psychotherapy
Featuring Eugene Gendlin, Ph.D.; Thomas Szasz, M.D.; Paul Watzlawick, Ph.D.; and Irvin Yalom, M.D.
Moderated by Carol Kershaw, EdD.
Human problems can be seen as "games without end; " that is, as recurring behaviors based on the continuous application of rigid rules, but devoid of rules for the change of these rules. What are such "meta-rules" and how can they be introduced?