Psychotherapy and counselling in Australia: Profiling our philosophical heritage for therapeutic effectiveness

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Elizabeth Day [1], Australian College of Applied Psychology                                                                                               


Dr Elizabeth Day is a senior lecturer at the Australian College of Applied Psychology. She is working on a project as a member of the PACFA Research Committee to involve PACFA registrants in the use of client feedback instruments.  Her co-edited book Psychotherapy and counselling: Reflections on practice published by Oxford University Press is due out in October 2015.


A clearly articulated disciplinary base could significantly bolster the still emergent profession of psychotherapy and counselling.  As the profession sharpens its profile it is important that the implications of the common factors research be fully integrated into disciplinary frameworks.  The predominance of the therapeutic relationship as a factor in therapeutic effectiveness calls for greater rigour in the understanding of how that relationship works. Within an already crowded mental health space, it is timely that the profession foreground how its disciplinary bases provide that rigour.

This article considers where the profession sits within a spectrum of models of health and presents an argument for deeper consideration to be given to the philosophical and relational roots of the disciplines of psychotherapy and counselling.


Address for correspondence:
Dr Elizabeth Day
Senior Lecturer in Counselling and Psychotherapy
Australian College of Applied Psychology  
Email: Elizabeth.Day@acap.edu.au