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The Common Factors in Therapy

Daryl Mahon (Outcomes Matter, Ireland)

Evidence Based Counselling & Psychotherapy for the 21st Century Practitioner

ISBN: 978-1-80455-733-4, eISBN: 978-1-80455-732-7

Publication date: 9 February 2023


In the previous chapters, we have explored some of the key debates around empirically supported treatments, and I have introduced the reader to the concept of evidence based practice as a tripartite model that speaks to a much wider understanding of therapy research and practice. In this chapter, I introduce the concept of the common factors and some of the research that supports the idea that in general all therapy approaches tend to be as effective as each other, indeed, a summary of this research going back as far as 1936 is highlighted. The common factor proposition rests on the premise that there are far more commonalities across diverse therapy methods, than differences, and that it is these trans-theoretical constructs that are responsible for the lion’s share of outcomes. After briefly reviewing some of the literature, several common factor models are presented for the reader to consider.



Mahon, D. (2023), "The Common Factors in Therapy", Evidence Based Counselling & Psychotherapy for the 21st Century Practitioner, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 27-36.



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Copyright © 2023 Daryl Mahon