|The Top 10 - Page 3|
Third in line of favored orientations is something respondents call "mindfulness" therapy—945 therapists, or 41.4 percent use it. Psychodynamic/ psychoanalytic makes up the fourth most popular category, with 808 adherents or 35.4 percent. Only .5 percent—about 11 respondents—consider themselves exclusively psychodynamic. The contrast with 1982 is striking, when 45 of 415 respondents reporting their theoretical orientation claimed to be "psychoanalytic"(almost 11 percent).
It isn't surprising that the 10 most influential therapists in our survey are all in their own way originals, each with a unique and compelling vision. Just as important as their ideas, however, is their outsized endowment of pure, big-P Presence. Though they may be first-rate researchers, original theorists, prodigious writers, charismatic teachers, and extraordinary clinicians, what sets them apart and makes people remember them is that they have the bone-deep conviction, unstoppable energy, and inspirational force of born proselytizers.
As a measure of how powerful these individual voices are, it's difficult to read, hear, or see them without becoming completely convinced that each one in turn has the answer not only to every human dilemma, but to your own specific human dilemma. Whether it's the limitless compassion of Carl Rogers, the razor-sharp analysis of Murray Bowen, the hypnotic persona of Milton Erickson, the shimmering vitality of Virginia Satir, the comical genius of Albert Ellis, the tragic imagination of Irvin Yalom—they all seem to embody within their very cell structure a wisdom that, at least in their direct presence, leaves no room for doubt. Of course, you find yourself thinking over and over, this person is absolutely right!
That you say that anew with each person, although the particular vision of each is so different from that of all the others, could suggest that the whole field of psychotherapy is nothing but a potpourri of personal opinions pushed by outsized egos. But in fact, the individual variation and brilliance of each distinct voice simply enhances the reputation of a profession that may actually come close to encompassing the vast and complex reality of human psychology itself.
1. Carl Rogers
Virtually all therapists today are "Rogerian" in style, no matter what their clinical or theoretical orientation, or what they think of Carl Rogers. Does any clinician not subscribe, at least in part, to the holy trinity of Rogers's psychotherapeutic method: "unconditional positive regard" or full acceptance of clients as they are; complete empathic understanding of clients, clearly communicated to them; and "congruence," or being authentic, genuine, and transparently "real" with clients? What therapist, no matter how hard-nosed, directive, and manual-bound, doesn't program at least a little "reflective listening" into his or her work from time to time?