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Enabling connections: Counsellor creativity and therapeutic practice

Rouse, Alison; Armstrong, Joe; McLeod, John


Alison Rouse
Senior Lecturer in Psychology

Joe Armstrong

John McLeod


© 2015 British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Aims: To understand how counsellors’ personal creativity informs their professional work with clients. Method: Grounded theory methodology was employed alongside arts-based research methods. Ten experienced counsellors, active in some form of expressive arts, participated in semistructured interviews prior to and following an experiential creative task that involved representing what creativity meant to them, and kept a reflective log throughout the process. Findings: Creativity was viewed by the participants as an important, potentially transformational aspect of their therapeutic work. Creativity was experienced as a relational process that contributed to moment-by-moment responsiveness and as a means of establishing meaning and coherence through integrating different forms of experience. The personal creativity of participants was understood as a contribution to their professional creativity in the role of therapist. Conclusion: The study highlights the value of enhancing counsellor and psychotherapist understanding and confidence in respect of ways in which personal creativity can be combined with counselling theory and experience. Limitations of the research are also considered.


Rouse, A., Armstrong, J., & McLeod, J. (2015). Enabling connections: Counsellor creativity and therapeutic practice. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 15(3), 171-179.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Sep 1, 2015
Journal Counselling and Psychotherapy Research
Print ISSN 1473-3145
Electronic ISSN 1746-1405
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 3
Pages 171-179
Keywords counselling, creativity, integrated experience, intuition, relational depth, transformation
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