By K. R. MacKenzie, Arnold A. Lazarus
Rutgers collage, New Brunswick, NJ. Discusses the author's concepts for short psychotherapy. For clinicians.
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Additional resources for Brief but Comprehensive Psychotherapy: The Multimodal Way (Springer Series on Behavior Therapy and Behavioral Medicine)
82-83). It seems to me that boundary crossings should be determined on an individualistic basis. Whenever a therapist who is about to cross a boundary feels it necessary to examine his or her own motives and calculate the pros and cons, it is probably best to refrain from the intended venture. Thus, I was about to ask a client if he'd mind collecting my restrung tennis racquet from a store right next door to his own place of work. I hesitated and thought it through more clearly. He would probably see it as exploitation on my part, although he was not being asked to go out of his way.
The entire profession would enjoy a completely different ambiance and much greater respectability if we fully appreciated the principle of parsimony (the view that between two equally tenable hypotheses, the simpler is to be preferred) and if we heeded Occam's razor (which holds that explanatory principles should not be needlessly multiplied). In a broad sense, we are products of the interplay among our genetic endowment, our physical environment, and our social learning history. But this does not inform us as to exactly how, when, where, and why certain behaviors, outlooks, insights, fantasies, and interpersonal patterns are 38 BRIE F BUT COMPREHENSIVE PSYCHOTHERAP Y acquired.
Nonetheless Gabbard and Nadelson (1995b) aver and forewarn that benevolent, honest, ethical, and well-intentioned therapists "are swept away THE MAIN RATIONALE 21 by feelings of love for the patient or neediness for themselves in times of personal stress in their lives" (p. 1346). They imply that only awareness of and resolute adherence to very strict boundaries can offset the tendency for therapists to fall prey to personal agendas. The ardent acceptance of the ubiquitous "slippery slope" notion can only foster such mistrust that clinical judgment would be hindered and the capacity to help many individuals would be undermined.