What Is Convergence in Psychotherapy?

Old meets new and the whole promises to be greater than the parts.

Posted Apr 18, 2020

 Alex Kondratiev/Unsplash
Source: Alex Kondratiev/Unsplash

Dear Convergence SIG members and friends:

Welcome to our new blog! Our goal is to establish a communication hub to foster focused discussion with an ongoing record of the exchange. The Convergence group is a special interest group of the Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration (SEPI), but the expressed views here may not represent SEPI. Thanks also to Psychology Today for hosting our group.

As many have pointed out, most recently Marvin Goldfried in his 2019 American Psychologist article on consensus, the missing piece in psychotherapy integration has been a widely held understanding of how therapy works to foster change. The SIG was formed to take advantage of new science converging with traditional and recent thinking to help fill in what we are calling the “common infrastructure of psychotherapy.”

Although there are, of course, many differences and disputes within the field, the SIG Steering Committee believes the time is ripe for filling in longstanding knowledge gaps with more general principles that converge across many domains of thought and inquiry. We see our mission as identifying those principles and exploring how we might tie them together with existing theory into a coherent picture to address the following three questions:  

  1. What exactly is the enterprise of psychotherapy about and what does it aim to change?
  2. What specifically are the mechanisms of change and the principles and processes that enable them?
  3. What supportive conditions allow change in psychotherapy to take place?  

I would like to ask readers to please post your (succinct and focused) comments on the meaning of convergence along with thoughts on the mission and significance of the SIG. Just click the "thought balloon" icon below to leave a comment.   

Upcoming posts will raise important questions for responses and comments. Our next topic will be the pros and cons of consensus.

Best wishes and we hope you are all safe.  

Jeffery Smith, founder