The issue of control in the therapeutic relationship

by Ruth Ann Petty

Institution: University of Johannesburg
Year: 2014
Keywords: Clinical psychology; Psychotherapy - Vocational guidance; Control (Psychology)
Record ID: 1419733
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10210/10093


It was deemed important to undertake a study on control, because divergent approaches toward the issue of control emerged, which have important consequences in terms of how change is to be effected in therapy. Haley, was chosen as representational of the viewpoint which presupposes that the issue of control" should be addressed explIcitly within the thrapeutic relationship and that the therapist should assume control to ensure the successful implementation of interventions. Keeney, a proponent of the Ecosystemic Viewpoint, refutes the notion of control, criticising it for being a product of a linear reductionistic epistemology. He views the therapist's task as a facilitator for the system's own feedback mechanisms to recalibrate. As can be seen from such dichotomous viewpoints the tasks of the therapist differs in each case. Such a discrepancy needs to be resolved for the practicing psychologist to ensure therapeutic change. It is therefore the purpose of this study to examine whether this debate can be resolved, and, if so, how.