Why We Should Acknowledge and Accommodate Clients’ Wants and Needs

Jonny Hutchinson, Trainee Counselling Psychologist, University of Roehampton This blog is a response to one of the points raised in Ong, Murphy, and Joseph’s (2020) critique of the pluralistic approach to counselling and psychotherapy. For reasons of space, I’ve chosen to address just one particular aspect of their argument, but…

From the Actualising Tendency to Autonomy: How do we Understand and Honour Self-Determinism in Pluralistic, Integrative, and Person-Centred Therapy?

Erin Stevens, Counsellor/Psychotherapist, blogger A few years ago, in therapy, as I discussed some of the more questionable choices I have made in my life, my therapist said to me ‘You always get to where you need to be, Erin. You might not always take the most orthodox route, but…

Glasgow Networking Update

To update everyone interested in the west coast networking meeting.  We are meeting on Saturday 7th March from 1pm-4pm (apologies for the short notice) at one of the beautiful community spaces at Macintosh at the Willow, 215  Sauchiehall St, Glasgow. The general plan for this meeting is to start a…

Pluralistic therapy and William James’s A Pluralistic Universe

Jay Beichman, Counsellor/Therapist, Brighton. Pluralistic therapy seems—so far—to have had a tendency towards emphasising quantitative research and a desire to gain ‘scientific’ credibility. The 2nd International Conference of Pluralistic Psychotherapy and Counselling in 2019 matter-of-factly stated that they were ‘pleased to inform [me] that the scientific panel’ had accepted my…

Finding Myself Coming Back Again

Dr Andrew Reeves, Associate Professor in the Counselling Professions and Mental Health, University of Chester Do you find pluralism, or does it find you? Or, can you be pluralistic all along without really realising it? I ask because I have had several conversations recently with people who have approached me…
Stack of journals

Philosophical Foundations of Pluralism

Mick Cooper, Professor of Counselling Psychology, University of Roehampton The recent critique of pluralistic therapy by Ong et al. (2020) has made me think that it might be useful to try and unpack further the philosophical roots of the approach, at least as I see it. John (McLeod) always used…

Glasgow Networking Meeting

Kathryn Stevens, MSc, MA. NHS Therapist and Private Counsellor. The original Pluralistic Practice Network group was formed over in Dundee to create networking opportunities, peer support and encourage practitioners to share experience and expertise. Being able to meet with and discuss any issues in your practice, or thoughts about theory,…

Shaking the Pluralistic Kaleidoscope on a Central Asian Campus

Robin Higgins MA, University Counsellor and Well-Being Consultant, University of Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Campus Well-Being blog: https://tenthstreetdinner.wordpress.com/ Pluralism is a process and not a product. It is a mentality, a way of looking at a diverse and changing world. A pluralistic environment is a kaleidoscope that history shakes…

Sitting in the Grey: Letting Go of Either/Or

Caitríona Kearns, Director of Registry & Operations, IICP College, Dublin. As we approach the Third International Conference for Pluralistic Counselling and Psychotherapy in Dublin (28-29 March 2020), I find myself reflecting on my own journey toward pluralistic practice and research. I was very young when I started training as a…

Eliciting and Accommodating Client Preferences in Counselling and Psychotherapy: When is it Helpful?

Mick Cooper, Professor of Counselling Psychology, University of Roehampton Is it always helpful to ask clients in counselling and psychotherapy about their preferences, and to fully accommodate them? Of course, from a pluralistic standpoint, that is the wrong question to be asking. Overall, meta-analyses do show that preference accommodation is…

Working Pluralistically with Religious Clients

John Wilson, Honorary Research Fellow and Director, Bereavement Service, York St John Counselling and Mental Health Clinic I recently delivered a public lecture on loss and grief at my university. After the event a member of the audience sought me out to say that she was experiencing anticipatory grief for…

A Soulful Solstice

Lynne Gabriel, School of Psychological and Social Sciences, York St John University For me, the winter solstice is an important time for simply being, for reflecting on the year and for heralding the return of the light.  I am usually to be found winding down at this point; feeling mellow,…

From Ticking Boxes to Meeting People: My Counselling Journey

Darren Hopgood, Trainee Counsellor, University of Sunderland I realised, when I researched pluralistic counselling at college for a modalities presentation, that I wanted to be a pluralistic counsellor. It was the thought of a counsellor and client being part of a collaborative partnership that inspired me to start working towards…

On the Possibility of Hope Through Goals: A Reflection

Chris Lloyd, London Metropolitan University We’ve all had that feeling of stuckness with a client. Wondering whether we are competent or ‘skilled’ enough to support our clients towards change. I feel this is particularly so as we journey alongside clients who struggle with a sense of hopelessness in their lives.…

Pluralism: Uniting the opposites

Richard Knight, School of Psychological and Social Sciences, York St John University, Lord Mayor’s Walk, York, YO31 7EX It’s always been an item on my bucket list to visit Gatecrasher (a club night that became popular in the 90s and early 2000s). Some of you will remember it as the…

Client Preferences in counselling for alcohol problems

Jillian Walls, Abertay University Walls, J., McLeod, J., & McLeod, J. (2016). Client preferences in counselling for alcohol problems: A qualitative investigation. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 16(2), 109-118. doi: 10.1002/capr.12064 What to say about this research? I developed, like most counsellors, a keen interest in what clients wanted from counselling,…

Five tips for Positive Goals Work in Counselling and Psychotherapy

 Dr Gina Di Malta, CPsychol., Lecturer in Psychotherapy and Counselling, The Open University Setting goals in therapeutic work is used across a range of psychotherapies. It is especially commonplace in therapies such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), where clients may be encouraged to set SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and…

Passionate about Pluralism

Mick Cooper, co-author of Pluralistic counselling and psychotherapy (Sage, 2011). Illustration by Agnieszka Zapart (www.obrazkoterapia.pl) Why am I passionate about pluralism? Why does it mean so much to me? If pluralism was a particular clinical technique, I’m sure I could really care about it; but I don’t think I’d ever…

Supervising from a Pluralistic Perspective

Mick Cooper, University of Roehampton What’s distinctive about supervision when it’s informed by a pluralistic approach? John McLeod and I talked about it in our original 2011 book and then Mary Creaner and Laco Timulak have written about it more extensively in the 2016 pluralistic handbook. Having practiced, pluralistically, as…