Integral Review

A Transdisciplinary and Transcultural Journal For New Thought, Research, and Praxis

Michael Basseches

His education includes B.A. (1972), Swarthmore College; Ph.D. (1978), Harvard University (Personality/Developmental Psychology). Post-doctoral internships and clinical psychology training at Tufts University Counseling Center, South Shore Mental Health Center, and Clark University


Professional experience comprises the following roles. Faculty member (25+ years) at Cornell University, Swarthmore College, Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, and Suffolk University (where currently Professor of Psychology). Staff Psychologist (18 years) Bureau of Study Counsel, Harvard University. Licensed psychologist in private practice (20+ years) in areas including individual, couple, family, and group psychotherapy and supervision. Fellow, The Clinical-Developmental Institute. Head Resident and Resident Tutor at Harvard University’s Pforzheimer House; Tutor and Teaching Fellow at Harvard in Psychology, General Education, and Graduate School of Education; Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School (McLean Hospital). Consultant to business, religious and educational organizations; draft counseling and nonviolence training; taxi driver in New York City.

He is currently using a dialectical-constructivist framework to integrate a wide range of approaches to psychotherapy, and to provide a developmental conceptualization of the fundamental dialectical processes by which all effective psychotherapy works, regardless of the therapist’s theoretical approach. In collaboration with students and colleagues, they have created a coding system for tracking these processes and the developmental movements that occur within them. This model may also be used to understand how psychotherapy becomes stuck and to prevent “theoretical abuse” of clients by psychotherapy practitioners.

Current research interests include (a) case studies of successful and unsuccessful psychotherapy using the coding system (b) clients’ experiences of psychotherapy, (c) therapists’ understandings of the nature of expertise in psychotherapy, and (d) the impact of therapists’ forms of meaning-making on the therapy process. These interrelated lines of research are part of an overall attempt to articulate a comprehensive dialectical-constructivist life-span developmental model of psychotherapy process and psychotherapist training. Draft chapters of a book presenting the model to be published by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Psychotherapy as a Developmental Process, (co-authored by me and Michael Mascolo), are available from me on request.

Other interests include: forms of rationality and irrationality (how they develop, interact with each other and generate conflict, and how these often painful conflicts can be transformed into developmental opportunities); dialectical and critical thinking; relationship of individual and organizational development; integration of intellectual and personal development; conflicts within academic, personal, and sexual experience, and the relevance to them of philosophical and religious concerns.

Other relevant personal facts: He grew up in Greenwich Village. He isdivorced, with two children (ages 17 and 13, in 2006). He is interested in social change, sports, movies and theater, and spending time near and in the ocean.

Department of Psychology
College of Arts and Sciences
Suffolk University Boston

Contact information
Phone: 617-573-8528
Fax: 617-367-2924

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