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Colman, W. (2020). Psychotherapy as a Skilled Practice. J. Anal. Psychol., 65(4):624-644.

(2020). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 65(4):624-644


Psychotherapy as a Skilled Practice Related Papers

Warren Colman

While psychotherapy is related to both science and art, it is primarily a craft activity requiring the development of skilful practice, epitomized by the discipline of the analytic attitude. In terms of the forms of knowledge outlined by Aristotle, this places psychotherapy in the realm of ‘technê’ (arts and craft) rather than epistêmê (science). In particular, the technê of psychotherapy is concerned with the development of phronesis (practical wisdom) in both patient and analyst and its ultimate aim is concerned with the promotion of eudaimonia, a state of well-being considered by Aristotle to be definitive of ‘the good life’. It is therefore fundamentally an ethical endeavour. The nature of psychotherapeutic skill is illustrated by analogy with three other forms of technê- music, meditation and pottery. Clinical examples illustrate the crafting of interpretations and the art of patient holding.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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