O. H. Mowrer's Theory of Integrity Therapy Revisited
In the mid 20th century, O. Hobart Mowrer was a celebrated academic psychologist, owing largely to his experiments with animals and humans that led to breakthrough theories on how we learn. His numerous publications in this arena propelled him to the post of President of the American Psychological Association in 1954. His own battles with depression led him to develop a new theory of psychotherapy, which he called Integrity Therapy. The premise of this modality is that the client’s deception with people they care about is the source of conscience pangs, but the client resists or represses the prompting of the conscience and this causes his or her psychological symptoms. Treatment, therefore, consists of urging the client to acknowledge his or her hidden behaviors to themselves and to significant others that they might both gain restored community with intimates and the fruits of personal integrity and inner peace ( to come clean about their deceptions and rewarding the confession with approval.)
This book explores the conceptual underpinnings of Integrity Therapy and Mowrer’s unique treatment approach, detailing his methods for setting conditions for therapy, assessing clinical data, rules of engagement for transference and countertransference, and handling client resistance. Case examples and transcripts are included to demonstrate key points of this technique. Mental health professionals interested in Mowrer’s ideas or the history of psychotherapy will find this book to be a valuable and interesting resource.