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The specificity versus nonspecificity dilemma: toward identifying therapeutic change agents
Am J Psychiatry 1986;143:687-695.
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Abstract

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.

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