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A radical responsiveness to client as other : developing a pluralistic approach to counselling and psychotherapy

Cooper, Mick (2011) A radical responsiveness to client as other : developing a pluralistic approach to counselling and psychotherapy. In: Universities Psychotherapy and Counselling Association Conference 2011, 2011-11-12. (Unpublished)

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The pluralistic approach to therapy developed by Cooper and McLeod is rooted in ethics, and is an attempt to develop our abilities to engage with clients in deeply respectful and valuing ways. The presentation argues that a principle obstacle to such an engagement can be a tendency in our field to hold either/or, polarised positions, such that we are not fully open to the complexity and diversity of the actual clients that we encounter. This presentation focuses on three particularly polarisations that can take place within the counselling and psychotherapy world: between advocates of different orientations, between integrative/eclectic versus single orientation practices, and between client-led versus therapist-led approaches. The presentation suggests how a pluralistic approach may be able to overcome these schisms, and discusses the implications of this perspective for thinking and practice in our field.