The verdict of the Dodo: why the Dodo must or must not die – Background and first picture
Rosenzweig claims two things: the first is that therapeutic success is not a valid proof of the goodness of the theory that supports it, the second is that, if we see similar effects in treatments that claim to be different, it is to be assumed that common factors act in them .
This contribution is the first in a series of articles on the subject. We will publish the next contributions in the coming days
My discussion is divided into a background, three paintings and an epilogue:
The problem for all animals to solve is to dry up.
The procedure proposed by the Dodo is to do a “ruffled run”.
The ruffled race is a race without rules:
When everyone is tired and dry they ask the Dodo: “who won?”
The question who won what does it refer to?
It has nothing to do with the purpose of the ruffled run, it has nothing to do with the problem that EVERYONE had to solve: dry up. And the race had nothing to do with their problem, you don’t get dry running!
But the Dodo has not lost its head, does not let itself be misled and issues the verdict on the real question: everyone has run, everyone has dried up, everyone has won and is therefore entitled to a prize.
So the verdict is about the race or the problem?
The problem, quite clearly; and with respect to the solution of the problem there is that everyone is dry, everyone has won, therefore everyone is entitled to a prize.
When one accepts an absurd procedure for solving a problem, one proceeds from absurdity to absurdity until the final result, which is generally mental confusion and indistinct gray.
Rosenzweig (1936) takes it for granted that psychotherapeutic procedures have effects and that the question concerns how it is possible that procedures that rely on dissimilar theories and say they apply specific techniques have overlapping results.
Here’s what our guy says:
The author claims two things: the first is that therapeutic success is not a valid proof of the goodness of the theory that supports it, the second is that if we see similar effects in treatments that claim to be different, we assume that common factors act in them .
So Rosenzweig does not doubt at all that psychotherapy is effective, but wonders why it can be equally effective. The thesis he claims is that psychotherapies can have similar successes because they share common factors, and it could be these that largely determine their success, while the specific techniques of each psychotherapy take on a less decisive role.
Those who question the effectiveness of psychotherapies are Eysenk, in 1952.
Eysenk says that psychodynamic psychotherapy and other eclectic forms of psychotherapy are not only ineffective, but that spontaneous remissions outnumber those attributable to psychotherapeutic interventions.
The same Rosenzweig first (Rosenzweig, 1954), in 1994, Lambert and Bergin then, again Lambert and Barley (2001) and Wampold and Imel (2015), document the unequivocal effectiveness of psychotherapeutic treatments compared to the usual treatment. The focus has thus shifted to the comparison between therapies rather than psychotherapy versus standard treatment.
The first shift consists in shifting the problem to why there are results and not if these results are there.
The problem is not who won, but why ALL win, given that psychotherapeutic systems based on different theoretical foundations, sometimes opposite, boast the same results. The emphasis here is on why treatments can be equally effective, and the reason given by Rosenzweig is that there are common factors that therapists use even beyond what they are aware of, and that other patient-related factors may act, or to the context of psychotherapy itself, which makes it effective beyond the specific technique.
Rosenzweig does not provide a verdict, but the motivation of the same: everyone wins because everyone does the same decisive thing and therefore obtains the result, not because everyone comes first.
When looking for the “why” of something, the horizon opens and cooperation takes its place.
I thank my son Filippo, a brilliant logician, for suggesting the articulation of the discussion on the background.
I thank Mancini for his lucidity, which also allows his interlocutors to clarify their ideas.
I thank Ruggiero, and with him Sassaroli and Caselli, who offers the opportunity to think about what we do.
The merits of my comment are of all the authors cited; banalities, inaccuracies and errors all mine.