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Collaboration in experiential therapy

Berdondini, Lucia and Elliott, Robert and Shearer, Joan (2012) Collaboration in experiential therapy. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 68 (2). 159–167. ISSN 0021-9762

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Abstract

We offer a view of the nature and role of client-therapist collaboration in experiential psychotherapy, focusing on Gestalt and Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT). We distinguish between the necessary condition of mutual trust (the emotional bond between client and therapist) and effective collaboration (regarding the goals and tasks of therapy). Using a case study of experiential therapy for social anxiety, we illustrate how the development of collaboration can be both complex and pivotal for therapeutic success, how it can involve client and therapist encountering one another through taking risks by openly, and how it nonjudgementally disclosing difficult experiences enriches and advances the work.