The vices and virtues of monolithic thought in the evolution of psychotherapy

Aner Govrin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Psychotherapists loyal to Single Orientation (SO) movements (such as cognitive-behavioral therapy [CBT], psycho-dynamics, Gestalt, etc.) are usually described in negative terms as having attitudes of superiority, contempt, and aversion toward other adjoining therapeutic 'cultures.' In contrast to such a viewpoint, this article using post-positivists philosophy emphasizes the importance of theoretical fundamentalism associated with SO to the evolution of theory in psychotherapy. Through an analogy between the evolution of psychotherapy and the assimilation of the discoveries of the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century, the article illustrates the extent to which loyalty to a single approach enables and encourages the enterprise of inventors, developers, and implementers belonging to various psychotherapeutic movements. The article calls upon integrationist theoreticians to embrace a dialogic and dialectic perspective and to adopt a tolerant view in relation to theoretical fundamentalism. Finally, the implications of this approach to training, practice, and the integration movement are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-90
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Psychotherapy Integration
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • History of psychotherapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Psychotherapy integration
  • Single orientation approach
  • Theory and practice of psychotherapy


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