Shifting.gif (6463 bytes)

Shifting Contexts:  The Generation Of Effective Psychotherapy

Bill O’Hanlon
James Wilk

A radical reworking of the basics of psychotherapy and an introduction to the philosophical underpinnings for brief therapy. Focusing on obtaining effective therapeutic results Bill and his co-author Jim assert that clinician should spend less time analyzing the reasons behind human behavior and concentrate instead on efficiently promoting change. By studying the commonalties in cases that were resolved in one session Bill and Jim found not that therapy should necessarily be completed in one to two sessions, but rather a variety of principles that could make therapy as effective as possible. This was Bill’s first book and his most heady book and is tough going in some sections but well worth the read!



Introduction      Beyond Belief: Getting From There to Here

Beyond Belief: Approaching Certainty in Psychotherapy

The Purpose of the Book

Beyond Psychology

Heading for Chapter One

Chapter 1     Shifting Presuppositions: Clinical Epistemology and Clinical Practice

Relationship and Relevance of Epistemology to Clinical Work

Epistemological Presuppositions

The Call for Clinical Epistemology

Clinical Epistemology: Shifting Presuppositions and Effective Clinical Practice

Chapter 2     Sifting Facts from Meanings: The Observation/Description Frame

No Agreement on the Basics

Getting the Facts

Negotiable and Nonnegotiable Realms

Handling Subjective Experience

Pursuing Truth and Relevance: Introducing Doubt

Chapter 3      Psychotherapy Changes Nothing: The Bottom Line

The Bottom Line

Naive Psychology: No Cause for Change

Benevolent Skepticism: Beginning at the End

Chapter 4     Talking Therapy: Language Limits

Part One: Problems: In a Manner of Speaking

Part Two: Opening Closure: The Problem Map

Chapter 5      Negotiating the Presenting Complaint: Assessment as Intervention

Preparing for the Passage: Clearing the Decks

Lading the Essentials: The Conditions for Workable Psychotherapy

Steering Clear: Negotiating the Obstacles-- The "Index"

Tacking into the Wind: Resolving the Problem Before It Gets to You

Therapeutic Presupposition

Further Negotiation: Splitting and Linking

Caveat on Method

Chapter 6     Working Assumptions: Furnishing Premises for Effective Practice

The Negotiation Table

The Couch

The Chairs

The Carpeting

What Wastebasket

The Windows and Curtains

The Lighting

The Clock and Calendar

The Door

Chapter 7     Skillful Means: Working Methods

Part One: Negotiating Operations

Part Two: Interventions After Initial Negotiation

Part Three: Therapist Stance and Style

Chapter 8     Beyond Negotiation: An Introduction to Contextual Approaches

Optional Patterning

Contexts and Context-Markers

Contextual Approaches: Pattern Intervention and Context Intervention

Context Intervention

Pattern Intervention

Afterword on Contextual Approaches in Psychotherapy

Chapter 9     Closing the Book: Getting from Here to There

Continuing and Shifting Approaches

Realizing the Possibilities: The Proof of the Pudding into Practice

Potential Barriers

Dispatch From the Frontier

Appendix I Epistemology and Clinical Epistemology

Epistemology: The Real McCoy

Presupposition and Epistemological Claims

Epistemology Presuppositions

Epistemology and Clinical Epistemology: Reprise

Appendix II     The Structure of Self-Imposed Limitations: Problem Talk

Specificity, Content, and Purpose in Discourse: Getting What You Ask For

The Lexicon: Names and Epithets

Confusing Words and Things

Casual Talk

Appendix III     The One-Minute Supervisor: Challenging Imperatives

Clinical Epistemology as Supervision

Supervising Others


The One-Minute Supervisor

The Supervision of Supervision


about Bill bill's workshops bill's attic books and tapescontact us home