Life story as the focus of psychotherapy: The Johns Hopkins conceptual and didactic perspectives

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Throughout his long career, Jerome Frank devoted himself to teaching as well as research. In chapter 8 of Persuasion and Healing (Frank and Frank 1991), he spelled out some implications of his ideas for the training of psychotherapists of many disciplines. This opened up new vistas for the psychiatrists, psychologists, and other therapists who followed him, suggesting new strategies for assessing candidates for treatment and for teaching the skills of effective psychotherapy to the next generation of providers. In this essay we describe how the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine integrated Frank's insights into the approach known as the Hopkins Perspectives of Psychiatry (McHugh and Slavney 1998). As he promulgated his empirical findings, Frank was justly honored for his diplomatic skill in sustaining a friendly discourse with clinicians of many different schools of thought, adroitly side-stepping the ideological conflicts embedded in the teaching and comprehension of psychotherapy. Willing to consider any idea or critical response, his open-minded posture disguised the revolutionary nature of the alternatives he offered, alternatives that helped transform psychotherapy from a mystery-laden enterprise to a relatively transparent and straightforward means of aiding people in distress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Psychotherapy of Hope
Subtitle of host publicationThe Legacy of Persuasion and Healing
PublisherThe Johns Hopkins University Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9781421403045
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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