Archive for July, 2011

20 Jul 2011

Characterological diagnosis: labelling or liberating?

Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapists can get very squeamish about the use of diagnosis in psychotherapy. Diagnosing characterological or personality types is seen as a step too far towards the medical model: clients are pathologised in the diagnosis and subsequently treated as if they have a psychological flaw that requires ‘fixing’ or ‘curing’. We tend to believe that diagnosis treats people as if they had something wrong with them when in fact we are all just imperfect creatures doing our best given the hand we have been dealt.

I’d like to offer a different view of diagnosis: one that equally rejects the paradigm of pathology but that rehabilitates the use of diagnosis as a tool for empowerment for both therapist and client.

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