The Truth Will Set Whom Free?
In reviewing James T. Hansen’s new book Philosophical Issues in Counseling and Psychotherapy: Encounters With Four Questions About Knowing, Effectiveness, and Truth, Milan Pomichalek offers a critique of Hansen’s postmodern stance toward counselling:
Adopting such a stance leads to the conclusion that counseling is most effective when the counseling situation is characterized by the contextual factors common to all healing paradigms and when interventions are "judged by the degree to which they bring beneficial consequences to clients, not according to whether, in the practitioner's judgment, they accurately correspond to the intrinsic nature of some client reality” (p. 128). (para. 6)
But Pomichalek argues,
[T]he beneficial consequences of counseling interventions are not completely independent of “the intrinsic nature” of a “client's reality” (p. 128). True, it is not the reality represented by theoretical constructs of, say, id-ego-superego, but a reality nonetheless. Otherwise, how could the interventions be judged as meaningful or emotionally resonant (p. 127)? (para. 9)
Do you think it matters whether a therapist uncovers some actual truth about a client, or is it sufficient that the client benefits regardless of whether what is uncovered is literally true?
By Milan Pomichalek
PsycCRITIQUES, 2014 Vol 59(41)