Making shared decisions with clients and personalisation

Research suggests that an in-depth, collaborative relationship between therapist and client is at the heart of an effective therapeutic process. The therapeutic relationship is a principal focus of counselling psychologists and therapists from a humanistic, existential and psychodynamic background. Colleagues within CREST have focused on the experience of in-depth relational connection in therapy, and are now looking at the process of sharing decisions with clients about the nature of the therapeutic work. This ‘metatherapeutic communication’ is central to pluralistic practice (Cooper & McLeod, 2011), and is seen as being essential to the development of a personalised therapeutic journey for each client.

Contact: Professor Mick Cooper - 

John McLeod on ‘Shared Decision Making’


Key publications:


Cooper, M. (2016). Goals in counselling and psychotherapy.

Cooper, M. (2016). Pluralistic therapy.

Current research projects:

  1. Development of pluralistic therapy for depression
  2. Conversational analysis of moments of shared decision making
  3. Clients’ experiences of shared decision making in therapy