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Psychotherapy is the Practice of Psychology, by Lee Sechrest and Bradley Smith

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Lee Sechrest and Bradley Smith (2012), in their article “Psychotherapy is the Practice of Psychology,” present a compelling argument for the complete integration of the aspects of theory, research, and practice of psychotherapy into the discipline of psychology. The authors define integration as the “[unification] of a body of knowledge in systematic way that is coherent and heuristic” (Sechrest & Smith, 2012, p. 170). The article claims full integration of psychotherapy into psychology would create a discipline rooted in science, grounded by a large body of knowledge and theory, and abled to be more flexible and innovative (Sechrest & Smith, 2012). Details regarding the multiple barriers which have prevented integration are presented. Additionally, the authors claim the discipline of psychology, clinicians practicing psychotherapy, and clients in therapy would all benefit from integration. However, the need for such a formal presentation of this argument remains in question.
In proposing the integration of psychotherapy into psychology, the authors propose that “psychotherapy is the practice of psychology” (Sechrest & Smith, 2012, p. 170). This is a logical ascertain. Psychotherapy is an attempt to improve the psychic condition of a client experiencing some form of mental distress. Other professions aim to improve the situations of their clients: teachers practice education, doctors practice medicine, and auto mechanics practice automotive repair. It is only natural that psychologists practice psychotherapy. There exists a division, however, between clinical psychologists and the rest of the field of psychology.
The authors cite several barriers which exist preventing the dissolution of this division. The authors c...


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... for integration and the prominent position of psychotherapy, the evidence suggests that the field of psychology does not function in an integrated manner. The APA divides branches of psychology into separate divisions, each with their own specializations, journals, and goals. Educational institutions divide their programs into different concentrations. Often, different schools have different orientations and specializations from other schools, further increasing the divide. Therefore, while the arguments presented in the article should be self-evident, they apparently are not.


Works Cited

Sechrest, L., & Smtih, B. (2012). Psychotherapy is the practice of psychology. In S.O. Lilienfeld & W.T. O’Donohue (Eds.), Great readings in clinical science: Essential selections for mental health professionals (pp. 148-155). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.


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