1st Edition

Collaborative Writing and Psychotherapy Flattening the Hierarchy Between Therapist and Client

By Trish Thompson, Daniel X. Harris Copyright 2024
    134 Pages
    by Routledge

    134 Pages
    by Routledge

    Collaborative Writing and Psychotherapy delves into the relationship that develops between client and therapist as they embark on a collaborative autoethnographic writing practice.

    The book explores the notion that both client and therapist change as a result of engaging in a psychotherapeutic process. The dialogic approach allows both voices to be heard together in the exploration of autoethnographic methods (collaborative autoethnography and dialogic autoethnography) and creative-relational approaches. This book will encourage therapists to be more vulnerable with their own life experiences and how these shape and influence therapeutic encounters with clients. Additional contributions include the expansion of psychotherapeutic literature to explore co-creative (creative relational) methods, and to expand autoethnographic scholarship to include psychotherapy narratives. Finally, the book offers ideas to therapists who might want to develop the ‘fellow traveller’ aspect of their professional identity, either in working directly with clients, or as part of their reflective practice.

    This book will be suitable for therapists and scholars looking to explore the use of qualitative, autoethnographic and narrative methods in research and practice.

    1. (Trish): Irv Who?  2. (Dan): Unstable Sense of Self  Dialogue 1: How Do We Define Collaborative Writing?  3. (Trish): A Fine Balance  4. (Dan): Letting Go  Dialogue 2: The Book of Laughter and Remembering  5. (Trish): Writing into Healing  6. (Dan): Butterfly Moves  Dialogue 3: Breaking Up is Hard to Do


    Trish Thompson (she/her) is a clinical counsellor, psychotherapist, supervisor and educator in private practice in Melbourne, Australia.

    Daniel X. Harris (they/them) is a research professor of creative Education in the School of Education, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia, and is the co-director of Creative Agency research lab.

    "I can’t wait to read this book. I feel as though we have all been waiting for this book. It seems all set not only to flatten relations between clients and therapists but squash flat the pseudo- professional boundaries that psychotherapy professionals have ducked behind all their ( our) working lives. This book moves therapists out from hiding behind their couches and their false veils of ‘expertise’ to stand alongside their clients as fellow, flawed humans. Therapy and therapists need to come out of the closet. Therapy needs queering up a bit and Trish and Dan are exactly the people to perform this feat. I hope this book becomes a core text for all psychotherapy and counselling education programmes." -- Jane Speedy, Emeritus Professor of Education, University of Bristol, UK; Member of CANI-net

    "In the spirit of Irvin Yalom’s, "Every Day Gets a Little Closer," Trish Thompson and Daniel X. Harris share the ever-deepening richness of their therapeutic journey through poignant, vulnerable, and transparent collaborative writing." -- Lawrence Rubin, PhD, ABPP, Editor, Psychotherapy.net 

    "Collaboration, accessibility, emotional connection: autoethnography allows all three in the client-therapist relationship. Hierarchies are transcended, healing is transformative. This book shows us how." -- Dr Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli AM, Honorary Fellow, School of Communication and Creative Arts (SCCA), Deakin University, Australia

    "This is a provocative intervention in the field of psychotherapy, counselling and qualitative and creative research. Trish Thompson and Daniel X. Harris intimately reflect on the relational processes and intersubjective nature of client-therapist relations as they move from therapist/client to collaborators and co-authors. They demonstrate the transformative power of dialogical practice and creative methods, particularly writing, in their own therapeutic relationship, illustrating how it evolved into a collaboration where their vulnerabilities could be explored in relation to each other, in ways that had therapeutic and transformative benefits for them both. Collaborative Writing and Psychotherapy is a must read for anyone engaged in therapeutic practicing or thinking about the potential power dynamics between therapist and client, and/or ethical possibilities for unsettling tradition notions of client/therapist relationships." -- Professor Katherine Johnson, Professor of Psychology and Dean of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University, Australia 

    "This book is a realisation of a beautiful idea. Dan and Trish seek to challenge and dislodge the often unacknowledged power imbalance between client and therapist. Their dialogical process places "equivalence of voice" at the centre of this radical and humanising idea. This book moves me to seriously consider big questions; who am I as I sit in my therapeutic role, who is my client, and what might be possible for two people together in a shared space?" -- Dr Stephen Andrew - Psychotherapist and author of Searching for an Autoethnographic Ethic 

    "This is a rare gem in the plethora of books written for therapists, giving the reader first-hand experience of using dialogical writing for therapeutic reflection. The book is both rigorously academic and sensitively personal, demonstrating the thought processes and reflexivity of master therapists, reflexivity that all therapists strive for but can rarely achieve." -- Dr Judith Ayre, Head of School of Counselling, Psychotherapy and Arts Therapy, Ikon Institute of Australia