Metatherapeutic communication: an exploratory analysis of therapist-reported moments of dialogue regarding the nature of the therapeutic work

Michael Cooper, Fani Papayianni

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Abstract

The purpose of the study was to investigate the nature of metatherapeutic communication (MTC), defined as dialogue between therapists and clients on the nature of the therapeutic work and the means by which it can be of greatest help to clients. Twelve counselling psychologists, working pluralistically with 35 clients experiencing depression, described on postsession forms moments of negotiation and collaboration around the therapeutic work. Two main dimensions of MTC were identified: the subject matter of the MTC and the temporal focus of the MTC. In addition, MTC varied by the time at which it took place. These findings provide a framework for understanding the nature of MTC in counselling and psychotherapy, and the opportunities for implementing it in practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-184
JournalBRITISH JOURNAL OF GUIDANCE & COUNSELLING
Volume46
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2017

Keywords

  • Therapeutic alliance
  • shared decision-making
  • metatherapeutic communication
  • pluralistic counselling
  • collaboration

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