1 - The Need for a Unified Conceptual Framework in Professional Psychology
Review articleOpen access
2011/01/01 Chapter DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-385079-9.00001-1
Publisher SummaryDespite the dramatic success of professional psychology, the field has also been marked by substantial controversy and conflict. There has been remarkable diversity in the theoretical orientations used to understand human psychology and the goals and processes of psychotherapy, and there has been deep conflict and competition between theoretical camps and schools of thought throughout the entire history of the field. Conflicts between schools and camps have subsided in recent years because of the development of integrative approaches to psychotherapy and other factors. The field is still characterized by wide diversity in the conceptualization of personality, psychopathology, and mental health treatment. Explaining the nature of human psychology and the processes involved in psychotherapy and behavior change has proven to be a formidable challenge for behavioral scientists. Research has provided reliable explanations for many psychological processes, but other aspects of the tremendous complexity of human psychology have been difficult to unravel and are currently understood only in broad outline. This is particularly true for the more complicated processes that are often the focus of psychotherapy. Detailed descriptions of many basic psychological phenomena are widely accepted but there remains a great deal to be learned about many highly complex processes such as the development of personality characteristics, the causes of psychopathology, the nature and assessment of intelligence and personality, and the mechanisms that account for psychotherapeutic change.
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