Welcome to #TheoryThursdays!
Continuing with my long-awaited series on theoretical orientations, I wanted to follow up with some generalizations about what is considered postmodern theories of psychotherapy.
I believe that essentially all that came after humanism is considered postmodern, although the approaches may differ greatly from one another and shouldn’t be put together (as I am about to do now).
On the field of psychology, someone’s perspective was starting to be considered more important, creating the notion of social constructionism. Even some humanist approaches, where starting to show postmodern signs on their development.
Thus, having the person (or the community) es the center, these theories base the therapeutic work on the client, and not on the knowledge of the therapist. Some will do that by listening to a client’s storytelling (Narrative therapy); others will try to work with what the individual has done great so far, and try to use that to their advantage (Solution Focused Therapy); while others will focus on the understanding of societal gender roles and racial discrimination (Feminist Therapy).
The therapist usually works from an informed-not-knowing perspective. This means that therapist will be trained and informed about human nature, but will enter the therapeutic relationship with the curiosity needed to learn from the client.
The therapist strives to create a collaborative relationship in which therapeutic knowledge, positivity, and curiosity guide, but don’t conduct, the therapeutic journey.
The client is, as I described with human theories, the one with the knowledge and power to create change.
The client is co-facilitator of their own therapy. This perspective wholeheartedly believes that clients can be trusted in their own recovery and that they have the capacity for healthy development.
Overall, I have greatly benefited from these approaches both as a therapist and as a client. Do you have any experience with a postmodern therapist? Please, I am eager to know! 🙂
Corey, G. (2017). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.