Do Clients Want What They Want? Understanding Preferences Through the Directional Framework

Mick Cooper, Professor of Counselling Psychology, University of Roehampton ‘The problem with pluralistic therapy is that clients do not know what they want.’ This criticism of pluralism, levelled even by advocates of a person-centred approach, has many parallels in the field of social and political theory. Here, ‘preference utilitarianism’, articulated…

Reflections on Using the Cooper-Norcross Inventory of Preferences (C-NIP): Confronting Early Dropout

Michelle Briggs, UKCP-accredited psychotherapist in private practice at Counselling West Bridgford Pressure to Connect? I tend to describe myself as a person-centred psychotherapist, placing the therapist-client relationship at the heart of the therapeutic process, following the pace of and being led by the client. This is all well and good,…

Working Pluralistically with Parts of Self: The Principles of Inner Pluralism

Nicola Blunden, Metanoia Institute, London In this blog, I outline the key elements of working with self-plurality (the experience of multiple inner ‘selves’), and I describe the creative synergy between the pluralistic approach and this work, in particular in our commitment to collaboration, multiplicity, and flexibility. The Spectrum of Self-Plurality…

Complexities of Working with Client Preferences

Caroline Burke, psychotherapist in private practice, Personal Development Tutor, IICP. The pluralistic approach—which prioritises the perspective of the client, their goals, and preferences—has challenged me personally. I trained as a psychodynamic psychotherapist, so the organic unfolding of a client’s story within the cultivation of a therapeutic relationship, unrestricted by time, is…

‘We’re making it up as we go along!’ Co-production in Pluralistic Person-Centred Therapy

Nicola Blunden; BACP Accredited Counsellor, Psychotherapist, Supervisor, and Trainer, Metanoia Institute, London; Co-Convenor Holi: Co-productive Research in Wales This blog is an overview of co-produced, pluralistic person-centred therapy, as I live it with my clients. I talk about co-production, and what it is generally in health care, where it has…

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…

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…

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,…

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…