The author examines the specificity versus nonspecificity dilemma that
characterizes the unresolved question of how psychotherapy works. He
explores different meanings and arguments on both sides of the controversy
and attempts to identify three therapeutic change agents that all schools
of therapy share as the basis of their different techniques: affective
experiencing, cognitive mastery, and behavioral regulation. The roles and
functions of these agents are discussed with regard to their potential
complementarity in clinical practice.