How and Why People Change: Foundations of Psychological Therapy

ISBN : 9780199917273

Ian M. Evans
320 ページ
162 x 240 mm

Human beings change constantly; we are in an endless state of flux as we grow, mature, learn, and adapt to a myriad of physical, environmental, social, educational, and cultural influences. Change can be thought of as planful when it is motivated by the desire to be and feel different, such as the change that comes about as a result of deliberate intervention, usually initiated by a troubled individual and aided by another, typically a professional. In How and Why People Change Dr. Ian M. Evans revisits many of the fundamental principles of behavior change in order to deconstruct what it is we try to achieve in psychological therapies. All of the conditions that impact people when seeking therapy are brought together in one cohesive framework: assumptions of learning, motivation, approach and avoidance, barriers to change, personality dynamics, and the way that individual behavioral repertoires are inter-related. Special emphasis is placed on environmental, social, and cultural influences that allow people to manage their feelings and promote adaptive thoughts and activities. The result is a novel and refreshing look at factors that help people change, which can be mobilized by individuals themselves or their therapists. By looking past the formal techniques of cognitive-behavior therapy, this book explores the processes of therapy as well as the nature of meaningful, long-range, and lasting change. Drawing on a variety of classic and new research studies, this unifying approach is evidence-based, but in a different way from the empirical validation of standardized protocols and manuals. The aim is to encourage both novice therapists and experienced clinicians to re-evaluate basic psychological assumptions in order to promote innovative, individualized, and culturally acceptable interventions. By understanding the sources of change that most influence clients' functioning, the commonalities in apparently different therapeutic theories are recognized, providing a critical perspective for clinical researchers. Rather than suggesting how therapy should be conducted, Evans shows how many different approaches can be understood on the basis of common underlying principles.


Chapter 1 Setting the scene: Why we need a theory for change
Chapter 2 What is therapeutic change?
Chapter 3 Motivation to change
Chapter 4 Individual differences in ability to change: Personality and context
Chapter 5 Conditioning: Changing the meaning and value of events
Chapter 6 Contingencies: Therapy is learning and unlearning
Chapter 7 Response relationships: The dynamics of behavioral regulation
Chapter 8 Cognition: Changing thoughts and fantasies
Chapter 9 Self-influence
Chapter 10 Social mediators and the therapeutic relationship
Chapter 11 Culture as behavior change
Chapter 12 Conclusions: How and why people can change and be changed


Ian M. Evans is Professor of Psychology at Massey University, New Zealand. After he received his Ph.D. at the University of London's Institute of Psychiatry, Ian taught behavior assessment and therapy for many years at the University of Hawai'i. He then became Director of Clinical Psychology Training at SUNY-Binghamton. He moved to New Zealand in 1995 and was professor and clinical program director at the University of Waikato, prior to his current position. He also served as President of the New Zealand Psychological Society. Ian is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand as well as the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science.