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The Role of Context in the Case of Taro

Yoshinobu Kanazawa


Muto and Mitamura (2015) are to be highly commended for publishing the case study of Taro. The article is notable for its emphasis on documenting what is behaviorally observable and reliably quantifiable. The authors’ commitment to scientific rigor is laudable. Japanese psychotherapists are strongly advised to use this article as a model of evidence-based treatment in their descriptions of psychotherapy sessions. On the other hand, the reviewer would have liked to see more discussions on contextual factors around Taro, his presenting problems, and his therapy, including therapeutic relationships, Taro’s emotions in therapy sessions and the therapist’s responses to them, possible conflicts in Taro’s family, as well as organizational issues around Taro and his symptoms in his workplace. Measurement tools are available to reliably quantify these variables. Incorporating these measures into the therapist’s work with Taro would help readers better understand the therapeutic process and illuminate the mechanisms of change in the case study.

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