Although inspired by the belief that making more information freely available to clients and practitioners is invariably a good thing, limitations of time and energy mean some unavoidable biases and selectivity in what is provided.
Very broadly speaking, the editorial bias of this site favours approaches which take seriously the reader’s — or client’s — own view of the world and which trust the individual as their own best authority on how to live their lives. This needn’t necessarily preclude those schools of thought which value the expertise, skill or experience of counsellors or other mental health professionals: a counsellor who takes the client to be their own best authority may still offer a great deal of expertise themselves. This site also favours approaches which, by design or otherwise, help clients to effect change themselves and to reduce over time any dependence they may feel on counsellors or psychotherapists.
Less space is dedicated to schools of thought which take the client’s views of the world as rationalizations created in response to hidden psychological factors such as an underlying unconscious to which they have no access and over which they have little or no direct control.
There is also a significant bias in favour of empiricism, both in the sense of being influenced by scientific research on the effectiveness of therapeutic methods and in the sense that directly accessible client experience (again, in contrast to an inaccessible and untestable realm of the unconscious) is taken as the raw material for therapy. As with the bias in favour of taking the client’s view of the world seriously, I am more interested in exploring with the client what their own world is like than in imposing my own theories atop that experience.
Finally, this site favours approaches which value both the thinking and the feeling aspects of people’s lives. Human beings are remarkably complex, adaptable, capable creatures — which is hardly surprising, given that human brains are the most complex structures in the known universe. To emphasize either intellect or affect (emotion) — or behaviour, for that matter — at the expense of the other aspects of an individual suggests an inaccurate view of the reality of human beings and does clients a significant disservice.
With the exceptions noted above, this site is largely agnostic about therapeutic approach, but because my own primary counselling training is in the person-centred tradition, it is difficult for my views not to be somewhat coloured by an awareness of person-centred theory. This is probably most noticeable in the annotated bibliography, where several entries draw comparisons or otherwise make connections with person-centred thought.
While geography is less relevant to the theoretical information provided on this site, there is something of a United Kingdom focus to the information which bears on legal issues and the state-sponsored provision of mental health care. Nonetheless, despite my own physical location in the United Kingdom, every effort is made to provide information which will be useful to a broad spectrum of clients and practitioners across the world.
— Greg Mulhauser, Managing Editor
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