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Unnecessary and incompatible: a critical response to Cooper and McLeod’s conceptualization of a pluralistic framework for person-centered therapy

Ong, Wei Tao; Murphy, David; Joseph, Stephen

Authors

Wei Tao Ong



Abstract

© 2020 World Association for Person-Centered & Experiential Psychotherapy & Counseling. The aim of this paper is to critically examine the axiom of Cooper and McLeod that the person-centered approach should incorporate pluralistic practices based on clients’ goals and wants. First, we examine Cooper and McLeod’s argument that the uniqueness of clients means that therapeutic work should orientate around helping clients to identify what they want and how to achieve it. Second, we examine their position that the theories that the therapist may hold about therapeutic change should be subordinate to the client’s specific wants and needs. Finally, we consider their assertion that there is a need to reconceptualize person-centered theory with a pluralistic framework. The person-centered approach has its own unique ontological position based on a trust in the actualizing tendency of all organisms. If by pluralism Cooper and McLeod are proposing ontological eclecticism, then this is fundamentally incompatible with the person-centered approach. In terms of method, the person-centered approach was already pluralistic; if this is what Cooper and McLeod mean by pluralistic, then what they are proposing is simply old wine in a new bottle.

Citation

Ong, W. T., Murphy, D., & Joseph, S. (2020). Unnecessary and incompatible: a critical response to Cooper and McLeod’s conceptualization of a pluralistic framework for person-centered therapy. Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies, 19(2), 168-182 . https://doi.org/10.1080/14779757.2020.1717987

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 10, 2019
Online Publication Date Feb 10, 2020
Publication Date Feb 10, 2020
Deposit Date Jun 11, 2019
Publicly Available Date Feb 11, 2021
Journal Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies
Print ISSN 1477-9757
Electronic ISSN 1752-9182
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 2
Pages 168-182
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/14779757.2020.1717987
Keywords Developmental and Educational Psychology; Clinical Psychology; Psychiatry and Mental health
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/2172791
Publisher URL https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14779757.2020.1717987
Additional Information Peer Review Statement: The publishing and review policy for this title is described in its Aims & Scope.; Aim & Scope: http://www.tandfonline.com/action/journalInformation?show=aimsScope&journalCode=rpcp20; Received: 2019-02-15; Accepted: 2019-06-10; Published: 2020-02-10

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