Enabling connections: counsellor creativity and therapeutic practice

Alison Rouse*, Joe Armstrong, John McLeod

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


To understand how counsellors' personal creativity informs their professional work with clients.

Grounded theory methodology was employed alongside arts-based research methods. Ten experienced counsellors, active in some form of expressive arts, participated in semi-structured interviews prior to and following an experiential creative task that involved representing what creativity meant to them, and kept a reflective log throughout the process.

Creativity was viewed by the participants as an important, potentially transformational aspect of their therapeutic work. Creativity was experienced as a relational process that contributed to moment-by-moment responsiveness and as a means of establishing meaning and coherence through integrating different forms of experience. The personal creativity of participants was understood as a contribution to their professional creativity in the role of therapist.

The study highlights the value of enhancing counsellor and psychotherapist understanding and confidence in respect of ways in which personal creativity can be combined with counselling theory and experience. Limitations of the research are also considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-179
Number of pages9
JournalCounselling and Psychotherapy Research
Issue number3
Early online date14 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015


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