Second-Order Change in Psychotherapy: The Golden Thread That Unifies Effective Treatments

Pages: 320
Item #: 4317117
ISBN: 978-1-59147-436-4
List Price: $19.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $19.95
Copyright: 2007
Format: Hardcover
Availability: In Stock
FREE Shipping

For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories


After more than 40 years of research, a substantial body of evidence has shown psychotherapy to be helpful in ameliorating psychological suffering. This is seldom questioned in professional circles, yet intense debate persists over how, when, and why therapy works. Those claiming to know the answers fall into two main camps, one arguing that some empirically supported treatments are therapeutic for specific problems, while others are less effective. The other camp posits that all approaches work equally well, as long as a strong therapist–client relationship and other common curative factors are present.

Can both doctrines be correct? Second-Order Change in Psychotherapy: The Golden Thread That Unifies Effective Treatments asserts that they can, but what is needed is a unifying framework of change that underlies both positions. Drs. Fraser and Solovey identify that framework as second-order change in psychotherapy, or the "golden thread" that runs through the labyrinth of all effective therapies. To better elucidate this, first-order change refers to solutions that do not change the problem but that create stability, while second-order change transforms the first-order solutions, resulting in a resolution of the problem.

In this fascinating and rich book written for researchers, practical theorists, and policy makers, the authors show how second-order change is at the core of all effective treatments and demonstrate how to creatively employ specific, targeted approaches in an interpersonal context of shared respect, empathy, and compassion.

Table of Contents


Prologue: The Golden Thread

I. The Golden Thread of Second-Order Change

  1. How Does Therapy Work?
  2. Problem Formation
  3. Problem Resolution
  4. The Therapeutic Relationship
  5. Interventions as Relational Acts

II. Following The Thread: Empirically Supported Therapies

  1. Anxiety
  2. Depression
  3. Parent–Children Relationship Problems
  4. Couples Therapy
  5. Substance Abuse and Dependency
  6. Self-Harming and Suicidal Clients
  7. Following the Golden Thread of Second-Order Change in Effective Psychotherapy


Author Index

Subject Index

About the Authors

Reviews & Awards

…this book is an important contribution, and a welcome addition to the conversations around us about what defines us as therapists. I plan to make it required reading for beginning marriage and family therapists in my classes who want to know what difference key family therapy ideas really make, out there in the "real world." This book beautifully illustrates just that difference.
—Journal of Marriage and Family Therapy

Read a review of this title from the PsycCRITIQUES® database (PDF, 40KB)

Purchase access to PsycCRITIQUES, APA's searchable database of book reviews in psychology, delivering approximately 20 current reviews each week.