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Pluralistic Therapy

What is Pluralistic Therapy?

Pluralistic therapy takes a view that as the client you are the expert in your own life but this uniqueness means you will need different things at different points in the therapy to effect positive change. The pluralistic approach sees counselling as a two-person activity, where one person seeking the help of another is supported and included in the process. (McLeod, 2018, Cooper and Dryden, 2016). 

Working together in this way we find out what might help at any given time, identifying goals and strategies to support you throughout the course of the therapy and beyond, using well-established evidence-based theories, this means therapies that have been found to be helpful to clients and/or conform to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines.

  • A person-centred approach means I am always present, placing my client at the centre of the therapy, offering time and space for them to explore their problem. I do not offer advice but will listen with empathy and non-judgement, working with them to move towards finding solutions. (Rogers, 1980).

  • Gestalt - noticing what is happening in the room - the 'here and now'.

  • Elements of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) as one of the most widely practiced and researched forms of psychotherapy often used to treat anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorders, and phobias. Together we can look at ways of challenging and changing distorted thinking, which can have a positive effect on mood and outlook on life. (Burns, 1980).

  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) can help client’s explore their readiness and willingness to change. Learning to sit with acceptance of difficult emotions enables us to look for ways to move forward, towards a commitment to change. (Sinclair and Beadman, 2016).

  • Knowledge of attachment theory aids exploration of adverse childhood experiences (ACE’s) and unresolved childhood trauma.

  • Working creatively in the therapy can open the door to different ways of expressing and managing difficult emotions - art, music, journaling, mindfulness, guided relaxation, or breathing techniques can often be helpful.

Burns, D. D. (1980) Feeling Good: the new mood therapy. New York: Harper Collins.

Cooper, M. and Dryden, W. (2016) The Handbook of Pluralistic Counselling and Psychotherapy. London: Sage Publications.

McLeod J (2018) Pluralistic Therapy. Oxon: Routledge

Rogers, C. (1980) A Way of Being. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Sinclair, M. and Beadman, M. (2016) The Little ACT Workbook - An introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Bath: Crimson

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