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The paradigm of complexity science provides a new way to address the problem of psychotherapy integration and allows us to bypass the various shortcomings of the linear-interventionist perspective. Nine criteria are outlined, which should be satisfied by any integrative approach to psychotherapy: (a) the use of complexity science to provide a meta-theoretical and generic understanding of change processes (from neuronal to social system levels); (b) a comprehensive and formalised modelling of change processes and personality development; (c) an integrative method of case formulation; (d) the ability to understand a variety of techniques in terms of basic change principles; (e) criteria to guide microdecisions; (f) the application of data-driven feedback and real-time monitoring of change dynamics; (g) standardised assessment of outcomes in naturalistic settings; (h) guidelines for training; and (i) strategies that are well-suited to science–practice integration. Using these criteria as a framework for evaluation, one may grasp the potential of complexity science to drive innovation in the pursuit of psychotherapy integration.


This is the accepted version of the following article:

Schiepek, G., & Pincus, D. (2023). Complexity science: A framework for psychotherapy integration. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 23(4), 941-955.

which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.


British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy

Available for download on Monday, April 22, 2024