A collaborative therapy is one in which:
- The expertise of clients is given at least as much weight as the
expertise of therapists.
- Clients are regularly part of the treatment planning process:
- Clients are consulted about goals, directions and responses to the
process and methods of therapy
- Diagnostic procedures, conclusions and case notes are available,
transparent and understandable to clients (no jargon or theoretical or technical terms
which aren,t explained in plain, simple language).
- The therapist asks questions and makes speculations in a
non-authoritarian way, giving the client ample room and permission to disagree or correct
the therapist. Therapists give clients many options and let them coach the therapist on
the next step or the right direction. If the therapist has an idea and is keeping it as a
hidden agenda, he or she makes it public, putting it out in the conversation not as the
truth or the right direction, but as an idea, a personal perception or an impression.
- The therapist is wary of "theory countertransference. Theory
countertransference is evident when the therapist continues to "discover the same
kinds of problems in client after client (e.g. "unresolved losses, or Multiple
Personality Disorder). This also means not imposing one,s beliefs and therapeutic values
on clients, lives. The therapist claims no special knowledge about the best way for the
client to live after resolving his or her therapeutic concerns (e.g., that it is best for
clients to use "I messages or always express their feelings).
- Other helpers are given respect and no attributions of bad intentions
or wrong approaches are implied regarding their treatment. They are invited into
cooperative relationships by inquiring about what their views of the situation are and
what the outcomes they expect from treatment are. If they are willing to say, you can ask
them about how you might help with or at least not interfere with their treatment. This
does not mean that one has to accept or support everything other helpers do. The first
loyalty is to the client(s). So, as usual, stories of impossibility, blame, invalidation
and determinism are gently and subtly challenged by acknowledging their possible validity
and introducing alternate possibilities.
- Clients (consumers) are given the opportunity to comment on the
process of helping (critiquing, appreciating or coaching) and to share their expertise
with others, thereby elevating their status from passive needy recipients to active expert