Picture of a sphere with binary code

Making Strathclyde research discoverable to the world...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. It exposes Strathclyde's world leading Open Access research to many of the world's leading resource discovery tools, and from there onto the screens of researchers around the world.

Explore Strathclyde Open Access research content

Person-centered therapy : a pluralistic perspective

Cooper, Mick and McLeod, John (2011) Person-centered therapy : a pluralistic perspective. Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies, 10 (3). pp. 210-223. ISSN 1477-9757

[img] Microsoft Word (Pluralistic counselling for person-centred therapy)
2011_pluralistic_PCE.docx - Draft Version
Available under License Unspecified.

Download (80kB)

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to articulate a ‘‘pluralistic’’ understanding of what it means to be person-centered. This perspective places particular emphasis on an understanding of clients as unique, nonstandardizable ‘‘othernesses,’’ whose therapeutic wants and needs are likely to be highly heterogeneous and unknowable in advance. Based on this idiographic standpoint, it is argued that a person-centered understanding of therapeutic change necessitates an openness to, and appreciation of, the many different ways in which clients may benefit from therapy – including, but not limited to, established person-centered and experiential (PCE) practices. To translate such pluralistic principles into practice, it is suggested that therapists should specifically orientate their work toward clients’ goals, and enhance their levels of dialogue and metacommunication with clients regarding the goals, tasks and methods of therapy. This pluralistic approach to person-centered therapy holds other perspectives and practices within the PCE community in high regard, as well as other non-PCE therapies; but it does challenge ‘‘dogmatic person-centeredness’’ and encourages PCE practitioners to be aware of the limits of their work. It also provides a coherent, ‘‘client-centered’’ framework through which PCE therapists can incorporate a wide body of practices, research findings and theories into their work.