Intrapsychic change methodological problems in psychotherapy research

June 12, 2013:

Intrapsychic change methodological problems in psychotherapy research have been a long standing issue. The question is how can one possibly measure, and thus have effective methodological research, targeting intrapsychic change in a person. Often times we can measure intrapsychic change by quantitative reports from research subjects. More recently the trend is to quantify behavioral alternations which mirror the corresponding intrapsychic changes. This now becomes a problem in understanding the power and impact of mental health intervention research.

Without the specific quantification, and rather only having qualitative outcome measures to support the outcomes of a study, the very question of true intrapsychic change poses increasingly impactful methodological problems in psychotherapy research.

Universities and hospitals funding Chicago therapists and publishing these research findings have made a shift in the past few decades to begin having more concrete and measurable outcome measures. For instance, they move towards behavioral outcome measures rather than focusing research on intrapsychic change.

Now, it is important to note that intrapsychic change is absolutely necessary when behavioral or cognitive changes occur. We cannot divorce thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. If one changes, the others do as well. In knowing this, we can infer that intrapsychic change has occurred when either of the others has been altered.

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