All good therapists have doubts. Lucidity is the antidote. This site is a distillation of ideas and concepts that have helped me to understand and guide the process of psychotherapy. Beginning with a reexamination of how psychotherapy works, my aim is to build a coherent and consistent framework that is equally at home with psychodynamic and behavioral techniques. The intent is to help practitioners to recognize where they are in the process, understand what is taking place and optimize their efforts to foster change.
The core idea behind this approach is that all psychotherapies work through two irreducible change processes.* As we focus on these two processes, the differences and conflicts between behavioral, psychodynamic and other schools of therapy lose their importance. The vision presented here is of a single group of concepts that allow the techniques and wisdom of diverse schools to be be combined and integrated for therapeutic results.
The site is aimed at the quiet majority of consumers and therapists who see psychotherapy in a pragmatic way, not tied solely to one traditional school. The ideas presented here are not revolutionary, but taken together, will amount to a remodeling of technique and theory for practical use in today’s world.
For those who are curious, PsyTx is a medical abbreviation for psychotherapy where “tx” signifies “therapy.”
• To move from therapies based on application of a set method to a closer appreciation of how change takes place and the range of techniques and approaches that can foster processes of healing and growth.
• To develop a common framework that is equally at home with psychodynamic and behavioral techniques.
• To show that psychodynamic and behavioral techniques can be combined gracefully in practice.
The ideas presented here are “evidence based,” that is, built on observations that are accessible to any thoughtful person. What I seek is to place these observations in a simple, elegant set of conceptual structures that will help guide day-to-day work.
DISCLAIMER: These ideas are intended to stimulate thought, not to tell anyone what to do or substitute for professional judgment. Substantial training is required to do psychotherapy and to bring new ideas into practice with safety. The ideas presented here should not be applied blindly or by inexperienced therapists without consultation or supervision.
Personal Reasons for Creating PsyTx.com
The reader may wonder why I have gone to the trouble of creating this site. First, the site is provided as a course handout for third year psychiatric residents on Intermediate Psychotherapy Technique at New York Medical College. Second and more important, it is intended as a living book proposal.
*Jeffery Smith, MD. (2004) “Reexamining Psychotherapeutic Action Through the Lens of Trauma” Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 32(4), 613-631.