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Clin Psychol Rev. 1999 Sep;19(6):721-37.

Acquisition of adaptive skills: psychotherapeutic change in cognitive and dynamic therapies.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia 19104-2648, USA.


We argue that there are important areas of overlap in the types of patient change processes that occur in cognitive therapy and dynamic therapy. These common processes of patient change have been obscured by differences in language and theoretical constructs between the two traditions. We suggest that the acquisition of adaptive skills describes patient change processes that are common to both therapies. More specifically, we propose that the concept of adaptive skills encompasses both the compensatory skills model of cognitive therapy (Barber & DeRubeis, 1989) and some of the patient changes that occur in dynamic therapies. In clarifying these areas of overlap between cognitive and dynamic therapies encompassed by the adaptive skills acquired in both, the present article highlights the fact that the two therapeutic traditions employ radically different techniques to achieve some of the same outcomes. Recognizing the overlap between change processes in the two types of therapy, and adopting a common language for them, allows for further theoretical and empirical investigation of therapy process and outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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