chapter  6
30 Pages

Breaking the rules in counselling

I notice that these days in reading the literature on counselling and psychotherapy, I am more and more drawn to the ‘rule-breakers’ and those who confess to engaging in unorthodox and intuitive work which takes them beyond, and often away from, the confines of their original training (e.g. Thorne 1987, 1997; Davis 1997; Mearns 1992). I have come to believe that rules can limit therapeutic effectiveness even as they also importantly define the boundaries of safe practice. Paradoxically, I have sometimes experienced the breaking of rules as seeming to provide an increase in safety and containment for clients. I hope the material included in this chapter will illustrate how this may happen.