How do you bridge the gap between counselors who practice eclectic methods and strategies, and theories of counseling which encompass a single approach and a single set of therapeutic techniques and strategies? The answer, according to Lazarus
(19 ) is a multimodal orientation. This orientation is said to be characterized by a "technical eclecticism," which posits that various therapeutic strategies and techniques from diverse theories can be used by a given therapist, not because the theories underlying them are sound but rather because they work for a given patient or set of patients. In other words, technical eclecticism is an essentially pragmatic process.
Lazarus does, however, note that while the multimodal orientation does not subscribe to any given theory, it can be encompassed by a "broad theoretical framework which is that of social learning theory. Based on the social learning perspective, it can be stated that the multimodal orientation views therapy as educative.
The multimodal approach is associated with two basic assumptions which are: (1) The greater the learning in therapy, the less likely that the patient will relapse; and (2) there are several interdependent dimensions of being and a change in any one of them will affect all of the others. These essential dimensions of being are said to be: behavior, affect (emotions), sensation, imagery, cognition, interpersonal processes, and drugs (biogenetic and physical processes). An acronym used to define these dimensions is "BASIC-ID."
Putting the social learning framework together with the multimodal orientation approach produces both a therapy and an assessment process. The therapy is that of pragmatism. Of the assessment process, it is stated that inquiry into each of the modalities that comprise the BASIC-ID of an individual allows for discovery of all factors relevant to changing dysfunctional behavior. This means that the educative function of...