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A Pluralistic Perspective on Research in Psychotherapy: Harnessing Passion, Difference and Dialogue to Promote Justice and Relevance

Smith, Kate, Mcleod, John, Blunden, nicola, Cooper, Mick, Gabriel, Lynne ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8144-090X, Kupfer, Christine, Mcleod, Julia, Murphie, Marie-Clare, Oddli, Hanne Weie and Winter, Laura Anne (2021) A Pluralistic Perspective on Research in Psychotherapy: Harnessing Passion, Difference and Dialogue to Promote Justice and Relevance. Frontiers in Psychology.

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The adoption of a pluralistic perspective on research design, processes of data collection and
analysis and dissemination of findings, has the potential to enable psychotherapy research to
make a more effective contribution to building a just society. A review of the key features of the
concept of pluralism is followed by a historical analysis of the ways in which research in
counselling, psychotherapy and related disciplines has moved in the direction of a pluralistic
position around knowledge creation. Core principles of a pluralistic approach to research are
identified and explored in the context of a critical case study of contemporary research into
psychotherapy for depression, examples of pluralistically oriented research practices, and
analysis of a pluralistic conceptualisation of the nature of evidence. Implications of a pluralistic
perspective for research training and practice are discussed. Pluralistic inquiry that emphasises
dialogue, collaboration, epistemic justice and the co-existence of multiple truths, creates
opportunities for individuals, families and communities from a wide range of backgrounds to
co-produce knowledge in ways that support their capacities for active citizenship and
involvement in open democratic decision-making. To fulfil these possibilities, it is necessary for
psychotherapy research to be oriented towards social goals that are sufficiently relevant to both
researchers and co-participants to harness their passion and work together for a common good.
Keywords: dialogue, epistemic (in)justice, pluralism, psychotherapy research, social relevance

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.742676
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF637 Counselling
School/Department: School of Science, Technology and Health
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/5450

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