The identity of counselling and psychotherapy and the quest for a common metatheory

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Denis J. O’Hara, Australian College of Applied Psychology, Brisbane, Australia and E. Fiona O’Hara, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, Australia.  


Counselling and psychotherapy has become an important part of the fabric of modern society and its contribution to health and well-being is significant. This said, counselling and psychotherapy is a discipline that is still searching for its own identity. Is it a science or an art? Should it sit within a medical model or a humanistic model of personhood? In a socio-political environment enamored of evidence-based demands, which theories of counselling and psychotherapy are most accepted? Is there a way of holding or integrating the good of all bona fide therapies in one overarching philosophy of practice? These are the questions that still need to be answered.  This paper explores the underlying debates surrounding these concerns and proffers a solution in the form the non-dualistic metatheory of Critical Realism.