This workshop will introduce, and look at the practical implications of, a pluralistic approach to counselling, psychotherapy and psychological practice. This framework was developed with John McLeod in the 2000s, and has since been adopted by a number of practitioners and training institutes across the UK and internationally. The pluralistic approach is a collaborative, integrative perspective, deeply rooted in humanistic and person-centred values. Its fundamental premise is that each client is unique, and therefore may need different things from therapy. On this basis, the pluralistic approach creates a framework in which practitioners can integrate a wide variety of understandings and methods into their practice. A key element of this pluralistic approach is shared decision making: talking to clients about what they want from therapy, and how they might most effectively be helped to get there.
By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:
Describe the basic principles of a pluralistic approach to counselling and psychotherapy
Recognise evidence and arguments that support, and challenge, a personalised approach to therapy
Explain the ways in which they are able to help clients, and the methods they use to facilitate this
Critically discuss the strengths, and limits, of 'metatherapeutic communication': talking to clients about what they want from therapy
Apply basic methods of metatherapeutic communication
Critically evaluate the use of process and outcome measures in therapeutic practice
Session 1: Introduction to pluralistic therapy: What it is and why it might be helpful
Session 2: Self-reflection: What I offer clients and how I do that
Session 3: Metatherapeutic communication: Talking to clients about what they want from therapy
Session 4: Using measures to enhance pluralistic practice
This workshop is typically delivered as a one day event. However, a more extended version of this course can be delivered over two to five days.
The workshop combines self-development exercises, theoretical input, practical exercises, and small and large group discussion.
The workshop is appropriate for training and practising counsellors, psychotherapists, counselling psychologists and other mental health professionals.
Cooper-Norcross Inventory of Preferences (C-NIP): A tool for therapy that aims to help clients articulate their therapeutic preference. With instructions.
Goals Form: A brief measure for setting goals in counselling and psychotherapy, and monitoring goal progress. With instructions.
Therapy Pluralism Inventory: Therapist self-report measure of pluralism in practice.
Supervision Personalisation Form: A measure, in development, to help tailor supervision to the individual supervisee.
Pluralistic workshop handout (1/2/2019)
A brief introduction to pluralistic therapy: published in BACP’s Therapy Today in 2010
An update on pluralistic therapy: published in BACP’s Therapy Today in 2019
Cooper, M., Norcross, J. C., Raymond-Barker, B., & Hogan, T. P. (2019). Psychotherapy preferences of laypersons and mental health professionals: Whose therapy is it? Psychotherapy. doi: 10.1037/pst0000226
Swift, J. K., Callahan, J. L., Cooper, M., & Parkin, S. R. (2019). The impact of accommodation client preferences in psychotherapy: A meta-analysis. Journal of Clinical Psychology. doi: 10.1002/jclp.20759
Cooper, M., & Knox, R. (2018). Therapists’ self-reported chronic strategies of disconnection in everyday life and in counselling and psychotherapy: an exploratory study. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 46(2), 185-200. doi: 10.1080/03069885.2017.1343457
Papayianni, F., & Cooper, M. (2018). Metatherapeutic communication: an exploratory analysis of therapist-reported moments of dialogue regarding the nature of the therapeutic work. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 46(2), 173-184. doi: 10.1080/03069885.2017.1305098
Antoniou, P., Cooper, M., Tempier, A., & Holliday, C. (2017). Helpful aspects of pluralistic therapy for depression. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 17(2), 137-147. doi: 10.1002/capr.12116
Cooper, M., McConnachie, A., Messow, C.-M., Freire, E., Elliott, R., Heard, D., . . . Morrison, J. (2017). Patient preference as a predictor of outcomes in a pilot trial of person-centred counselling versus low-intensity cognitive behavioural therapy for persistent sub-threshold and mild depression. Counselling Psychology Quarterly. doi: 10.1080/09515070.2017.1329708
Thompson, A., Cooper, M., & Pauli, R. (2017). Development of a therapists’ self-report measure of pluralistic thought and practice: the Therapy Pluralism Inventory. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 45: 5, 489-499. doi: 10.1080/03069885.2017.1373745
Cooper, M., & Norcross, J. C. (2016). A Brief, Multidimensional Measure of Clients' Therapy Preferences: The Cooper-Norcross Inventory of Preferences (C-NIP). International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology, 16(1), 87-98. doi: 10.1016/j.ijchp.2015.08.003
Cooper, M., Wild, C., Rijn, B. v., Ward, T., McLeod, J., Cassar, S., . . . Sreenath, S. (2015). Pluralistic therapy for depression: Acceptability, outcomes and helpful aspects in a multisite study. Counselling Psychology Review, 30(1), 6-20.
Wallace, K., & Cooper, M. (2015). Development of supervision personalisation forms: A qualitative study of the dimensions along which supervisors’ practices vary. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 15(1), 31-40.
Cooper, M., Stewart, D., Sparks, J. A., & Bunting, L. (2013). School-based counseling using systematic feedback : a cohort study evaluating outcomes and predictors of change. Psychotherapy Research, 23(4), 474-488.
Bowen, M., & Cooper, M. (2012). Development of a client feedback tool: a qualitative study of therapists’ experiences of using the Therapy Personalisation Forms. European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling, 14, 47-62.
Cooper, M., & McLeod, J. (2012). From either/or to both/and: Developing a pluralistic approach to counselling and psychotherapy. European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling, 14(1), 5-18.
Thompson, A., & Cooper, M. (2012). Therapists’ experiences of pluralistic practice. European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling, 14(1), 63-76.
Watson, V., Cooper, M., McArthur, K., & McLeod, J. (2012). Helpful therapeutic processes: A pluralistic analysis of client activities, therapist activities and helpful effects. European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling, 14(1), 77-90.
Cooper, M., & McLeod, J. (2011). Person-centered therapy: A pluralistic perspective. Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies, 10(3), 210-223.
Cooper, M., & McLeod, J. (2007). A pluralistic framework for counselling and psychotherapy: Implications for research. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 7(3), 135-143.
John McLeod talking to Edith Steffen about the pluralistic approach, 19th Feb 2018
Follow up Q & A with John Mcleod on the pluralistic approach, including 'How can pluralism be embedded in training practice?' and 'What is the role of the unconscious in pluralistic therapy?'