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Relational BeingBeyond Self and Community$
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Kenneth J. Gergen

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199846269

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199846269.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 02 August 2021

Therapy as Relational Recovery

Therapy as Relational Recovery

(p.270) 9 Therapy as Relational Recovery
Relational Being

Kenneth J. Gergen

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines therapeutic practices and how they contribute (or not) to relational well-being, with particular emphasis on the client-therapist relationship. It replaces the traditional focus of therapy on the individual with a view of therapy as relational recovery. Before discussing the relational process in therapy, the chapter considers the broad relational context in which the very possibility of therapy—along with its potentials for human change—comes into being. It then turns to collaboration as the central focus of therapy and suggests that therapy is a matter of restoring viable relations, both for the client(s) and the sea of relations in which they are immersed—both present and past. It also explores the potentials and limitations of existing therapeutic practices as therapist and client enter a process of co-action, along with three major ways in which therapy can help restore relationship. Finally, it outlines new therapeutic horizons that emerge from a relational perspective.

Keywords:   therapy, relational well-being, client-therapist relationship, relational recovery, relational process, collaboration, therapist, client, co-action

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