Dr. Jonathan Raskin, professor of psychology and counselor education, has co-authored a new article providing guidance for psychotherapists during the coronavirus pandemic. The article applies a context-centered therapy approach to working with clients during these difficult times.
Raskin, J. D., & Efran, J. S. (2020). The coronavirus in context: Guidance for psychotherapists during a pandemic. Journal of Humanistic Psychology. Advance online publication. http://doi.org/10.1177/0022167820937509
We outline a context-centered therapy approach to helping clients cope with the coronavirus pandemic. Context-centered therapy is a constructivist approach that emphasizes shifts in an individual’s contexts as the best way to generate therapeutic change. Contexts are defined as sets of presuppositions that shape a person’s experiences. We examine how two very common contexts, mind and self, can inform therapists’ understanding of how their clients are responding to the coronavirus pandemic. The mind consists of a person’s defensive and protective postures in the face of perceived threat, whereas the self takes a broader perspective and emphasizes human connections and interrelatedness. Therapists can use several mind/self contrasts—blame versus responsibility, insufficiency versus sufficiency, being at effect versus being at cause, and avoidance versus mastery—to assist people who are struggling in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.