Development of Psychotherapy as an Object of Holistic Understanding and Systemic Research



The article presents critical analysis of psychotherapy research conducted in the modern psychology and it shows the lack of thorough methodological elaboration. A new approach to understanding the essence of psychotherapy is proposed. This approach also addresses the development of psychotherapy as a fundamental phenomenon that occurred in the European culture as a historical need, i.e. as a cultural and historical phenomenon in the full sense of the word. The essence and the integrity of psychotherapy can be understood only from within the development of a new psycho-technical culture in Europe. Based on this understanding a holistic, systemic and genetic approach to psychotherapy and feasibility of its examination is proposed. The steps of examining this approach and directions for the specific research are outlined relevant for this theoretical framework and research. Detailed attention is paid to the levels of functioning and development of the psychotherapy. The methodological bases of transitions in research from one level to another, up to the analysis of individual cases are proposed. The results obtained by the authors within this research framework are outlined and summarized.

General Information

Keywords: holistic understanding and systemic research of psychotherapy, cultural-historical approach to the study of psychotherapy, psycho-technical culture, history and logic of the psychotherapy development, social basis and social sources of the emergence of psychotherapy, methodological frameworks for psychotherapy research

Journal rubric: Psychotherapy and Psychocorrection

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Burlakova N.S., Oleshkevich V.I. Development of Psychotherapy as an Object of Holistic Understanding and Systemic Research . Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2010. Vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 88–97. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)

Information About the Authors

Natalia S. Burlakova, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Chair of Neuro- and Pathopsychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Valery I. Oleshkevich, PhD in Philosophy, Senior Researcher, clinical psychologist, GBUZ "Scientific and Practical Center for Mental Health of Children and Adolescents named after G.E. Sukhareva of the Moscow Department of Health", Moscow, Russia, ORCID:



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