Human Change Processes: The Scientific Foundations of Psychotherapy Review

Human Change Processes: The Scientific Foundations of Psychotherapy
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Mahoney has written a comprehensive overview of the cognitive revolution in psychology -- at the very least. He provides clear timelines of philosophical, theoretical, and empirical events that put this complex history in clear context. The writing is "thick" while managing to be accessible to even a beginner (if highly motivated) who is trying to make sense of the complexities of the field of cognitive psychology. He goes on to develop a rationale for the development of what is now known as cognitive constructivism -- of which he is a seminal thinker. His rationale and theory development are logical, well constructed, heavily referenced, and inspired. After laying the historical, theoretical, and empirical groundwork, Mahoney provides examples of how this theory is applied to clinical practice. This work is a gem. It is truly worth the energy and investment necessary to read and absorb it.

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The mystery of how, when, and why people change lies at the heart of the therapy process. Many authors have given shape to different pieces of the puzzle. Here at last is a book that provides the integrative framework within which these pieces can fit together.Why is it so difficult for people to change? What can be done to maximize the chances for success? To answer these questions, this sweeping book travels across a vast intellectual terrain, encompassing the history of ideas about human nature, developments in the cognitive sciences, artificial intelligence, evolution, psychobiology, developmental psychology, theories of emotion, the psychology of self, and more. The author then applies the theory to practice, drawing on his wide personal experience with hundreds of clients "in transition" to outline a model of significant change. Mahoney identifies common themes and experience patterns associated with dramatic change, emphasizing the role of emotionality and cognitive processes, and challenging long-revered notions about thinking and feeling.Here is an important work that will point researchers in new directions, will help practicing therapists adapt theoretical concepts to helping patients change, and will make fascinating reading for anyone exploring his or her own life journey.

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