Taking on a New Role: Facilitating the Pluralistic Practice Network Steering Group
Andrew Reeves, University of Chester
As a social worker and counsellor of many year’s standing, I had always been aware of my natural draw towards the view that no one approach meets everyone’s needs. Not only was integration a helpful way forward for me, engaging my client in a collaborative process—whereby they were positioned as architects of their own therapy—seemed so right. I learnt that the more I spoke with my clients, they not only wanted the insights and ideas I could bring, but wanted to be equally considered in that mix too.
It was when I came across Mick Cooper’s and John McLeod’s now seminal text, Pluralistic Counselling and Psychotherapy, that things all began to fall into place. I have talked about this revelation before and it still strikes me now as one of the turning points in my practice, that still informs the therapist I am today with my clients. Likewise, the opportunities pluralism offers in supporting collaborative working, not only with our clients, but with our colleagues too – across modalities and disciplines – attracts me so greatly.
Pluralism however, has been a gift that keeps on giving: new ideas about theory, research, practice have all been supported by the development of the www.pluralisticpractice.com website, the video resources, the books and articles, and the conferences. In July 2021 we will be holding our next conference and I would encourage each and every one of you to check it out here – and think about booking a place and submitting a presentation. Be part of the change.
All of this has been supported and facilitated by a wonderful group of people across several different working groups, encouraged by the Pluralistic Practice Network Steering Group. This Steering Group has been facilitated by Dr Kate Smith from the University of Abertay who, over the last three years, has done a staggeringly good job in encouraging and facilitating this work. Kate has now decided that this is the time to hand over to someone else for the next stage and I am delighted to be taking on that role.
I don’t see my role as a Chair, or Lead, or anything like that. Rather, a facilitator of the wonderful ideas of many people, working in collaboration to develop something we all fundamentally believe in. Pluralism is about inclusivity, diversity and engagement. At the last conference we had nearly 800 people attend online: some already defining their practice as pluralistic, others interested, some others enjoying the debate. All were welcome and all contributed to the conference being a great event. My aim is to bring more people on board to support the development of pluralism and pluralistic practice – in the true spirit of collaboration and working together. So please do email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to find out more, or want to get involved.
This year’s conference title is A Collaborative Revolution – please be a part of it and get on board; you will be very, very welcome.