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date: 16 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Motivational issues are central to human life. Correspondingly, they are also central to the challenging endeavor of psychotherapy. Assisting patients to change involves motivational issues at various levels and at various stages of therapy. Patients might be more or less motivated to begin and to participate in the different stages of psychotherapy (therapy motivation). Besides these differences in therapy motivation, an understanding of the broader concepts of motivation in psychotherapy should mandate that motivational issues be considered in the treatment of all patients, not only those with obvious deficits in therapy motivation. Motivational issues influence the therapeutic relationship; they should be considered in tailoring specific interventions and they might be important factors for the onset and maintenance of psychological disorders. The present chapter presents theoretical and empirical background information and illustrates therapeutic approaches for dealing with patients’ motivation. Moreover, it summarizes the implications of basic and clinical research for a motivationally informed psychotherapy.

Keywords: motivation, goals, psychotherapy, treatment, psychopathology

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