The patient is a universe of one, Erik Erikson famously said. How can we study this universe? Members of the Louvain Psychotherapy Research Group use a wide range of methodological approaches to unravel the complex and dynamic processes that take place in the unique encounter which is called psychotherapy. As concerns for mental health issues become more topical in society, there is also a risk that mental health is instrumentalized for its utilitarian value and that mental health care is standardized for pragmatic reasons.
Research from the members of the Louvain Psychotherapy Research Group focuses on the intrinsic (therapeutic, ethical, existential) value of the human encounter, the complexity and diversity of human subjectivity, and the personal and professional development of psychotherapists. What they all share is an interest in the process and outcomes of psychotherapy over and beyond symptom reduction. There is a broad consensus that psychotherapy has proven to be an effective and cost-effective treatment method to provide symptom relief, personality change, and to enhance quality of life for children, adolescents and adults. However, this doesn’t mean that the effects of different psychotherapy approaches are similar in nature, that psychotherapy works for every patient and that every therapist is equally effective. Patient and therapist characteristics, beyond the patient’s diagnosis and beyond the therapist’s use of a specific treatment approach, have a considerable impact on therapy process and outcome.
The Louvain Psychotherapy Research Group is part of the Psychological Sciences Research Institute at UCLouvain (Belgium).