What Is the Common Ground for Modern Psychotherapy? A Discussion Paper Based on EACLIPT’s 1st Webinar


  • Stefan G. Hofmann Orcid
  • Jacques P. Barber Orcid
  • Paul Salkovskis Orcid
  • Bruce E. Wampold Orcid
  • Winfried Rief Orcid
  • Anne-Catherine I. Ewen Orcid
  • Leonora Nina Schäfer Orcid


Psychotherapy as it is implemented today, can be seen as the composition of unconnected groups of practitioners and scientists pursuing different theories. The idea of finding a common “umbrella” for all evidence-based treatments in the field of psychotherapy is gaining more interest. Based on this background, experts in clinical psychology from various backgrounds led a fundamental discussion about modern psychotherapy and its basic mechanisms. Process-Based Therapy (PBT) was presented by Stefan Hofmann as a possible novel approach to clinical research and practice. In this article we present the different perspectives of the four panelists on PBT and in how far the model builds a common ground for different treatment approaches. Learning mechanisms and the therapeutic alliance were almost unanimously considered as indispensable factors in a global model of psychotherapy. In conclusion, the panelists emphasized a much-needed focus on characteristics and competencies of therapists themselves e.g., in communication, listening and empathy. These core competencies should be trained and promoted independently of the therapeutic approach.