The Symptom-Context Method: Symptoms as Opportunities in Psychotherapy
From a leading pioneer in short-term psychotherapy and psychotherapy research comes this innovative examination of a long-neglected topic—symptom formation in the context of clinical practice. Symptoms, psychological and psychosomatic, are what motivate many patients to come to treatment, yet this is the first and only collection and analysis of recurrent symptoms in psychotherapy; it leads to a new theory of the necessary conditions for symptom formation.
Those who have examined symptom conditions have typically done so retrospectively through patient recall, or, less frequently, through behavioral recordings made by the patient near the time the symptom occurs. Both of these methods make interpretations of symptom onset conditions questionable because of the problem of memory distortion and subjectivity.
In this volume, Dr. Luborsky describes the symptom-context method of gathering data as symptoms arise in vivo in the psychotherapy session. Transcripts of sessions are examined in light of each patient's symptom versus nonsymptom (control) segments, using controlled clinical ratings, scoring methods (both psychological and physiological), and background context.
Throughout the volume, Dr. Luborsky draws from several theory bases and presents new and updated empirical data from recurrent phobias, depressions, and psychosomatic disorders, as well as from more common behaviors such as recurrent laughter and forgetting. Using themes and techniques from the Core Conflictual Relationship Theme method he also pioneered, Dr. Luborsky compares this methodology with the symptom-context method, improving the ability to identify those relationship patterns that are most prominent in the occurrence of symptoms in several different disorders.
The Symptom-Context Method enables practitioners and researchers to reexamine some of the most important clinical material that patients present and to do so in creative ways that are adaptable to any theoretical or practice orientation.