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 claim several real and possible barriers to integration. The legitimate barriers are the limits of the human mind, interdisciplinary differences, and the quality of available information. Other possible barriers are disciplinary segregation and overspecialization (Sechrest & Smith, 2012).
The first real obstacle is the limits of the human mind. One psychologist cannot possibly know everything about the entire field of psychology. Instead, integration would involve communication between professionals with overlapping bases of knowledge. Second, real differences exist between different psychological disciplines. Difficulties may exist in the communication between fields differing greatly in problems, measurement, intervention, and theories. While some fields may have difficulties, others with commonalities in the previous aspects can more easily achieve integration. Lastly, the quality of some information may not lead to easy integration. Some experimental results may not be generalizable across disciplines, but with the use of sound methods and attention to patterns in results, integration is possible.
The possible obstacles may hinder integration. First, the authors claim that defined boundaries between...