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Collaboration in Experiential Therapy


Please address correspondence to: Dr Lucia Berdondini, University of Strathclyde, Counselling Unit, 76 Southbrae Drive, Glasgow, G13 1PP, UK.


We offer a view of the nature and role of client-therapist collaboration in experiential psychotherapy, focusing on Gestalt and emotion-focused therapy (EFT). We distinguish between the necessary condition of mutual trust (the emotional bond between client and therapist) and effective collaboration (regarding the goals and tasks of therapy). Using a case study of experiential therapy for social anxiety, we illustrate how the development of collaboration can be both complex and pivotal for therapeutic success, and how it can involve client and therapist encountering one another through taking risks by openly and nonjudgementally disclosing difficult experiences in order to enrich and advance the work.

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