Author Brin F. S. Grenyer presents new discoveries about an important process in psychotherapy: the client's development of mastery over symptoms, conflicts, and problems. In this volume, mastery is defined as an ingredient common to all forms of therapy that helps clients develop both self-understanding and self-control. The book demonstrates how the process of mastery works and how it can significantly reduce clients' symptoms and help them respond to emotional conflicts with greater flexibility.

In Mastering Relationship Conflicts: Discoveries in Theory, Research, and Practice, the development of mastery is meaningfully related to changes in the therapeutic alliance, transference, and close interpersonal relationships. The author promotes an approach to clinical work that is informed and responsive to research findings irrespective of the specific form of therapy conducted by the clinician. He attempts to apply a new methodology to studying the psychotherapeutic process using verbatim transcripts as the evidential base. The results contribute to an understanding of what makes psychotherapy effective and how this knowledge can help guide the practicing clinician. This book will be an invaluable resource for psychotherapy practitioners as well as researchers interested in psychodynamic processes, integrated approaches, and common factors to therapeutic success.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Lester Luborsky



I. Introduction

  1. Mastery as a Central Ingredient in Psychotherapy

II. Theory and Basis of Mastery

  1. A Theory of Mastery Through Psychotherapy
  2. Mastery and Current Trends in Psychotherapy

III. Measuring Mastery

  1. The Mastery Scale Method
  2. Reliability and Validity of the Mastery Scale

IV. Using the Mastery Concept in Clinical Practice

  1. How Psychotherapists Help Patients Develop Mastery
  2. Mastery and Interpersonal Relations: Therapeutic Alliance, Transference, and Core Relationships With Parents and Lovers
  3. Mastery and Different Client Populations: Depression, Personality Disorders, and Substance Dependence

V. Conclusion

  1. The Process of Mastery: Present Status and Future Directions



About the Author