There is no doubt we are experiencing a paradigm shift in the clinical sciences, if not more broadly across all scientific endeavours. That shift, from single domain perspectives to multidisciplinary enmeshment, is moving us toward meta-theoretical frameworks for broad subjects like physics, and the subject of our interest, human behaviour and psychopathology.

There is a band of forerunners, led by Jeffrey Magnavita, Jack Anchin, and Steven Sobelman, who have been hard at work establishing a catalogue of contemporary psychotherapeutic techniques in order to establish a unified framework of psychotherapy they call Psychotherapedia. To have a compendium of easily accessible techniques would provide the clinician with a powerful ‘go to’ tool that logically organizes techniques into a coherent framework.

Clinical science continues to evolve as new research is conducted and conceptual systems evolve. There is evidence that clinical science may be entering a new phase, which may best be described as unified. Many of the component subsystems of human functioning have been elaborated and an understanding and knowledge of how many systems operate is accruing in fields such as neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, behavioral economics, attachment theory, and cognitive, relational and affective science (Schore, 2003). A unified clinical science and psychotherapy can provide an opportunity for identification of the basic principles and processes involved in psychotherapeutic change. A systemically based framework can be used to organize the various levels of the total ecological systemand depict the interrelatedness of these domain levels. Translating this framework into implications for therapeutic intervention, our hope is that Psychotherapedia™ will become a reliable compendium for clinicians, researchers, students, and teachers that will afford us an opportunity to advance our clinical science and psychotherapeutics to better understand how to more effectively alleviate human suffering as it manifests in individual struggles, interpersonal disturbances, relational and family dysfunction and sociocultural pathology.

Magnavita, J. J. (2012). Mapping the Clinical Landscape with Psychotherapedia: The Unified Psychotherapy Project. Journal of Unified Psychotherapy and Clinical Science, 1(1),33-34. Retrieved from http://www.unifiedpsychotherapyproject.org/ejournal/ojs-2.2.2/index.php/Journal/article/view/11/13

This exemplary work, along with the Journal of Unified Psychotherapy and Clinical Science, is a bold and significant step toward engaging researchers, educators, and clinicians to investigate and discuss this emerging shift toward a more holistic biopsychosocial conceptualisation of psychopathology and therapy.

I would encourage you to have a look at the  Unified Psychotherapy Project and the Journal of Unified Psychotherapy and Clinical Science (freely available under the Open Journal System). It is certainly in line with the philosophy here at The Neuropsychotherapist and is heralding what I firmly believe is the future for psychotherapy.

Matthew Dahlitz

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