chapter  24
18 Pages

Collaborating as a Lifestyle

BySALLY ST. GEORGE AND DAN WULFF

Much has been written about therapeutic collaboration (Anderson, 1997; Gilligan & Price, 1993; White & Epston, 1990) as a way that not only respects clients in the general sense of the term but that consistently privileges their points of view in therapy. Th erapeutic collaboration is a stance that implicitly and explicitly opens therapy decisions and other activities to the client for participation on a par with the therapist. We believe that a collaborative approach also has great potential to enhance our professional relationships with colleagues and students. Harlene Anderson (Malinen, 2000) talks about collaborative work as a demonstration of a philosophy of life. She states that, “there is a natural coherence between the way you are in the world and all of your life roles” (p. 70). Th e hierarchical leveling that therapeutic collaboration off ers can similarly stimulate new generative relationships in other professional encounters. Th erefore, in this chapter we focus on collaboration as a professional lifestyle, a way to conduct one’s life across the board rather than as a preferred stance only in the therapy room, and use as illustrations examples from our experiences.